The whole city is heartbroken. That’s the message from Hartford’s mayor who got emotional at a vigil for a 3-year-old boy who was shot and killed over the weekend.
“Lean on him mother you and your family. Lean on the Lord and the Lord will get you through. Amen.”
Reverend Henry Brown comforted the mother of 3-year-old Randell Jones who police say was shot and killed on Saturday.
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“It’s hurt. I can’t even express my words the way I feel," aunt Johanna Vazquez said.
Family members shared a picture of the child.
“He was always playful, laughing. He was so smiling with everybody," Nidia Garba, another family member, said.
A vigil took place at the intersection of Garden and Nelson Streets Monday, not far from where someone – for some reason – fired into a car with the boy, his mother, two siblings and a male passenger who police believe was the intended target.
“The police officers are taking this to heart as well. A lot of our officers have got kids at home that are around that age," Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody said.
Thody said detectives have been working around the clock, revealing video has been key to the investigation. Soon after the shooting, police a second shooting, not that far away on Magnolia Street, took the life of 16-year-old Jamari Preston of New Britain.
"At this point I’m confident the two incidents are linked. To what degree and the specifics of that is still under investigation," Thody said.
Police are hoping more people come forward to help find whoever was responsible and start to bring closure to a family dealing with a devastating loss.
“I hope and pray to God to get justice," Garba said.
The Hartford Public Schools superintendent said they are offering counseling to whoever needs it.
The police chief said hey anticipate bringing this case to a close soon.