Memorial Grows for 3-Year-Old Boy Shot & Killed in Hartford

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A makeshift memorial is growing of balloons, stuffed animals and candles to remember a 3-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Hartford.

“This is hurting everybody, everybody,” said Amanda Guzman of Manchester. “It breaks my heart that my, my own friend had to sit here and lose his child to gun violence.”

Hartford Police said Randell Jones was in a car with his mom, two siblings and a male passenger who they believe was the intended target.

Near the intersection of Garden and Nelson Streets, investigators said a black Honda Accord pulled alongside them and a passenger opened fired on the other car.

Besides the boy, no one else was hurt.

“It's heartbreaking that the streets are getting to this point, that nobody's sitting here and becoming aware of what's going on around them. Right now, nobody feels safe. Nobody feels safe to even let their kids go outside even go to the corner store to even grab a candy bar,” said Guzman.

Not long after on Saturday, there was another deadly shooting nearby on Magnolia Street in Hartford.

Officers said 16-year-old Jamari Preston of New Britain was killed.

“I'm just baffled. You know, that's, that's all of our kids, you know, these are all our children, you know,” said Jeffrey Williams of Hartford.

Pastor AJ Johnson of Hope Refuge Church said this is a time to pray. But he also believes this a chance to get to know the community, provide opportunities for young people and help them make better decisions to potentially prevent another tragedy.

“There needs to be a precedent set going into this summer because we know how Hartford can get. It can get very violent, very quickly,” said Johnson.

Police do not believe the two shootings are connected.

A vigil for the 3-year-old is planned for Monday.

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