A Hartford couple killed following a dispute over a dog had their baby with them when they were shot, according to court documents.
As police continue their investigation, on Thursday, a family mourned the loss of their loved one at a vigil.
Family members of 39-year-old Chase Garrett promised to take care of the 4-month-old son he left behind.
“He loved his son so much, and he just wanted to be a father. That’s all he ever wanted,” said Garrett’s sister, Jamie Rodgers.
At a vigil on Thursday night, family members grieved and tried to come to terms with what happened.
“It’s scary that a minimal situation can turn into such a tragic situation. Could have been avoided,” said Garrett’s brother, Calvin.
On Sunday night, Hartford Police said they responded to more than a dozen shots fired on Franklin Avenue. Officers found three people hurt in a driveway.
Garrett and 27-year-old Christina Dang were killed. The couple’s neighbor, Nikia Rankins, remains in critical condition at the hospital.
In court documents, witnesses told police the shooting happened following an argument over Rankins’ dog. Police reported that “… I spoke with two females who informed me that this whole argument was over a dog. The females informed me that things had escalated between the neighbors on the second floor over a dog, and then informed me that the two deceased were a couple. The females informed me that the couple had had a problem with the other girl shot in the neck, and someone had made a threat to injure the puppy.”
According to officials, investigators say a fourth person, Donovan McFarlane, arrived at police headquarters with his attorney on Tuesday. Police say McFarlane told them the mother of his child, Rankins, asked him to come by and pick up their 3-year-old daughter because Rankins was “having an issue with a female.”
McFarlane told police that when he got to the Franklin Avenue home, he had a semi-automatic 9mm firearm with him. Documents reveal McFarlane saw Rankins and Dang arguing and threatening each other. McFarlane told police eventually he, Rankins, Dang and Garrett were all standing at the end of the driveway.
McFarlane said he saw Garrett reaching for a firearm. Documents reveal McFarlane stated that, “As McFarlane was looking at Rankins, McFarlane stated the male [Garrett] shot at them three times and Rankins fell to the ground. When Rankins fell to the ground, McFarlane observed she was shot in her neck and stomach. While Rankins laid on the ground, McFarlane stated the male [Garrett] pointed his gun towards him as the female [Dang] was also observed reaching for something on her person.”
McFarlane told police he thought Dang was reaching for a gun, so McFarlane shot her and Garrett. McFarlane said he then realized he had been shot in the shoulder.
Investigators wrote in paperwork that two firearms were located next to Dang and one firearm was located in Garrett’s waistband. Police say they also found a knife.
Documents show that the 4-month-old baby boy of Dang and Garrett, “…was handed to initial responding officers by a resident of the apartment building and stated the child had been in a body worn baby carrier attached to Dang.”
Officers on scene reported that the infant had blood on his clothing, but that he appeared to not be injured.
Garrett’s loved ones say the baby is with family members.
McFarlane told police that after the shooting, he took his daughter to his mother and slept in his vehicle. He said the next day after he went to the store, he saw police towing his vehicle. McFarlane told investigators the firearm he used in the shooting was in the center console of that vehicle, according to documents.
Police arrested McFarlane and charged him with criminal possession of a firearm. Police say he’s a convicted felon so he’s ineligible to possess firearms in the state.
The investigation remains ongoing.
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