New Haven Pastor to Address Recent Gun Violence During Sunday Sermon

The gun violence needs to stop.

That is the message from a New Haven pastor planning to address a recent wave of shootings during his sermon Sunday.

Although the New Haven Police Department is down more than 100 officers, police say they are working around the clock to track down those pulling the trigger.

“It’s not actually in my neighborhood, but it’s all over and it’s a big concern because a bullet has no name and it has no conscience,” said one woman who just moved to New Haven a year ago.

According to NHPD data, 50 shots have been fired in New Haven during the first six months of this year. That is down 17 for the same time frame in 2017. But there has been an uptick the past few days.

“We’ve had two incidents of multiple shootings,” NHPD spokesperson David Hartman said, “one incident involving three people shot, another incident the other day involving two people shot.”

Several of the recent shootings have happened within blocks of the Varick Memorial AME Zion Church on Dixwell Avenue.

“My prayer is for those who have been touched which is every one of us by these violent attacks,” Rev. Kelcy G.L. Steele told NBC Connecticut ahead of his Sunday sermon at 9:30 a.m.

The community needs to be more proactive in urging city officials to create more opportunities for youth and young adults, especially during the summertime, Rev. Steele said.

“Although it’s not blue on black violence, or white on black violence, it’s black on black violence and any violence is too much violence,” he said, “and enough is enough.”

The recent shootings come as the manhunt expands for murder suspect Tramaine Poole. Police have a warrant to arrest him for fatally shooting Tyekqua Nesbitt on May 31 in a car in front of her two young children.

There is a second warrant to arrest Poole for shooting his wife 36-year-old wife on May 7.

“The fact that this person is out there still protected by people is sickening,” Hartman said.

Police announced Thursday afternoon the reward is now up to $30,000 for anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of 41-year-old Poole.

New Haven Police are pleading for the public’s help to find Poole and other shooters on the loose. They stress that calls, texts and tips can be made anonymously.

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