Businesses on Edge After Shootout

Bigfoot Lodge

Investigators are still searching for a gunman involved in with shootout between on a busy New Haven street corner around 2 a.m. Sunday.

A bullet pierced the window of Pacifco Restaurant and dozens of evidence markers covered the street and sidewalk near the College and Crown streets as police investigate.

Neil Fuentes, who was working as a bartender at the time of the shooting, said the bullet came through the window and ricocheted off the wall, landing under a barstool.

"We all went down and (were) hiding and customers were very scared," Fuentes said.

It all started when police tried to break up a fight after the nightclubs closed and a man shot at police, police said. Officers fired back in self-defense.

At least two people were injured, police said.

Police have since recovered two guns from the scene.

On Sunday night, more officers were walking the beat in the otherwise vibrant entertainment district.

"I'm really, really shocked and I wish I lived in a safer neighborhood," Yale student Emmy Pickett said.

Police Chief Frank Limon said the department will step up enforcement in this neighborhood and others like it where there are bars and clubs.

"We're seeing (a) different pattern of behavior, where violence is occurring around clubs people may be attending," Limon said in a statement. "We will implement a broader set of interventions that identify and deter the behaviors of these individuals. We will target areas and employ technology where violence is more likely to occur. We intend to employ our broad enforcement authority vigorously."

Two victims of the weekend shooting were treated at local hospitals for non-life threatening injuries. No officers were injured. The investigation and search for the shooter continues.

This is the second shooting in this area within the last month. A man was killed near a Crown Street nightclub in August.

"It would be a good idea if they were here on a regular basis, I would think," said one East Haven resident.

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