One Dead After 20th Homicide in Hartford


Hartford police are investigating after the city's 20th homicide Saturday night.

Devon Mitchell, 25 of East Hartford, died at the hospital of multiple gunshot wounds.

Police were called to 671 Blue Hills Ave. at 8:48 p.m. after receiving numerous 911 calls to report multiple shots fired. Mitchell was shot numerous times outside Mr. Pizza.

Mitchell arrived at St. Francis Hospital in a personal vehicle to be treated for the gunshot wounds. Mitchell was taken into surgery where he was later pronounced dead due to his injuries.

The homicide count in the capital city has surpassed the total of 19 homicides for last year.

"It is tragic that another individual has lost his life to a senseless act of violence. Our police department continues to work with State and Federal partners in an effort to identify these criminals before they act, without concern for life, with the goal of preventing these most violent crimes," Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said. "The men and women in law enforcement work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep us safe."

Cynthia Jennings, a Hartford City Council member who is part of the Working Families Party, said in reaction to the homicide that "we have now failed three generations in this city."

As the homicide rate in the capital city continues to climb, many are asking, 'When will it stop?'

“I knew these things were gonna happen," Rev. Henry Brown, a comminity activist said. "Why? Because they give us Band-Aids.... Why don't they saturate these streets with police officers.”

But Jennings doesn't see it as a "police problem." She said instead it's a community-wide issue "where our young people and our adults need to have opportunities."

Some say it's unfair to compare this year's homicide rate to last year's because it was unusually low.

"These homicides have been happening with regularity for years," Brown said. "...Five, six years ago we had 34, 35. It was a common thing."

In 2003, the homicide rate in Hartford hit 45. Although it's fluctuated in years since, 2014 was one of only two years in the past decade that the homicide rate fell under 20 people.

The Major Crimes Unit, Shooting Task Force and crime scene detectives responded to the most recent homicide and are investigating.

 "We are doing everything we can within our means to identify potential correlations that may assist our policing efforts," Segarra said. "Even with a commitment of significant resources and partnerships across all levels of government, our community needs to continue to come together as government cannot address this issue alone. The reality is that each of us has a responsibility to help confront the challenges we face. We will continue to work with our community, our clergy, our not-for-profits, we will continue to reach out our young people to try and stop these acts of violence. As we have in the past during difficult times, we must remember that by pulling together we can reduce violence and not let these criminal acts define Hartford.”

Mitchell has a criminal record with convictions for carrying a pistol without a permit.

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