The man who is accused of shooting and killing his 28-year-old girlfriend in New Haven Monday morning as their 1-year-old child was in the car told police he “snapped,” according to court documents.
Rashod Newton, 27, is accused of shooting 28-year-old Alessia Mesquita, of New Haven, on Clifton Street and he has been charged with murder, risk of injury of a child and criminal possession of a firearm, according to police.
A family member who spoke to police described the relationship as tumultuous and said there was a history of domestic incidents, according to police paperwork.
Mesquita was pronounced dead at the scene and court documents state that the office of the chief medical examiner found that she had been shot around four times.
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Mesquita and Newton had gotten into an argument in the car and she got out of the vehicle, and that's when she was shot, police said.
Court documents state that security footage recorded the fatal shooting at Lenox and Clifton Street around 9:30 a.m. Monday.
It showed a woman get out of the vehicle, carrying bags, and try to open the back passenger seat of a gray Toyota Camry and the driver leave, then stop and shoot the woman, according to court documents.
At the scene, police found baby bottles, baby wipes and other baby items, but no baby.
They said the couple's 1-year-old child was in the car at the time of the shooting and officers found Newton and the 1-year-old child on Eastern Street a short time later. The baby was not hurt, but was taken to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution.
Newton was taken into custody and initially held on an assault warrant for a shooting in West Haven in 2020, according to police.
Police said he took responsibility for the shooting and said they were arguing, Mesquita wanted to get out of the car and he told her not to take the baby and she tried to take the child.
He said he drove off and she started “yelling and causing a scene,” and he “snapped and “immediately opened fire,” according to court reports.
He also told police that he intended to take his own life, court records say.
He was given medical and mental health attention and placed on suicide watch.
Newton was later charged with murder, risk of injury of a child and criminal possession of a firearm and bond remains at $3 million.
He appeared in court on Wednesday and is due in court next on April 6.
The homicide investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information who has not yet spoken to police is asked to call the New Haven Police Department at 203-946-6304.