As Hartford police look for who shot and killed two brothers Tuesday, members of the community continue to step up to support loved ones and others impacted by the tragedy.
“As you can imagine, we have dozens of folks who are impacted by this,” said Andrew Woods, a Hartford resident who is the executive director of Hartford Communities That Care.
Since 2004, the nonprofit has been on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help. Woods says it partnered with St. Francis Hospital to start the state’s first violence intervention program.
“Since that time, we’ve responded to over 1,800 fatal and nonfatal shootings in the City of Hartford, making sure that families get the support that they need, especially in times like this,” Woods said.
Born and raised in Hartford, Woods says many times, those working for Hartford Communities That Care know the family impacted or someone connected to the families.
When 46-year-old Leon Kelly and 47-year-old Charles Kelly were shot multiple times inside a Westminster Street home Tuesday night, police say they were pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital.
“When family arrived, we were there to greet them and provide them with the support and information they needed,” said Woods.
In the day following the deadly shooting, nonprofit members continued to connect with those impacted by the violence by speaking with loved ones, knocking on neighbors’ doors to check in on them, and even hiring a company to come clean up the crime scene.
“As you can imagine, when someone is violently injured in their home, you know, they have to come home to that,” Woods said.
They also hope to provide services to stop the cycle of violence.
“We try to get them on a path to healing and recovery, but also to make sure that people get the support they need, so that if they find themselves in a predicament where they find themselves might wanting to perpetrate or be a part of any retribution -- then we try to intervene along those lines as well.”
While they wish their work wasn’t needed, they’ll continue to do what they can to help their hometown of Hartford as police search for who killed the Kelly brothers.
“The last two years have been the toughest years, you know, it’s been tough for everyone across the country, here in the state of Connecticut, and certainly in the City of Hartford. But you know, this is what we do.”