Man charged in health cen­ter shoot­ing

Po­lice: Sus­pect dis­charged weapon sev­eral times from across a busy street down­town

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Press Staff

MID­DLE­TOWN » A Say­brook Road man is ac­cused of sev­eral felonies in con­nec­tion with a day­time shoot­ing ear­lier this month at a down­town health cen­ter, as a mother and chil­dren were walk­ing nearby, po­lice said.

Po­lice were called to the Com­mu­nity Health Cen­ter on Main Street Sept. 6 at 5:20 p.m. about a shoot­ing and found the vic­tim ly­ing in the drive­way of the park­ing lot suf­fer­ing from a gun­shot in his foot, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. When asked for in­for­ma­tion about where the sus­pect fled, the vic­tim replied, “I don’t know, man. Do your job and fig­ure it out,” the war­rant said.

A wit­ness told of­fi­cers the sus­pect walked to­ward a pink house on Grand Street af­ter the shoot­ing.

The vic­tim was taken to Hart­ford Hos­pi­tal for treat­ment. An of­fi­cer said he heard the vic­tim iden­tify the shooter by name while talk­ing on his cell­phone dur­ing the am­bu­lance ride there.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed the sus­pect, Ant­wan Ru­fus, 29, who was stand­ing across the street from the health cen­ter just prior to the shoot­ing, re­port­edly saw the vic­tim driv­ing nearby and lifted his shirt to re­veal a gun in his waist­band. Ru­fus “racked” the gun, pointed it at the man, then ad­justed his

aim and pointed to­ward the vic­tim’s foot and shot the weapon three to five times, po­lice said. A woman and two chil­dren stood nearby, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

The vic­tim, whose toes had been shot, told po­lice the two had been “beef­ing at” each other and had sev­eral dis­putes in the past which turned phys­i­cal, the re­port said.

Po­lice found .40 cal­iber fired shell cas­ings and a left-foot Nike sneaker near the vic­tim’s car, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

Video sur­veil­lance from the health cen­ter con­firmed the vic­tim’s story, po­lice said in the re­port. When asked to iden­tify the shooter, the vic­tim al­legedly said, “I’m not snitch­ing,” but he ad­mit­ted he had known Ru­fus since high school. The vic­tim even­tu­ally iden­ti­fied his shooter, po­lice said.

Ru­fus has been ar­rested mul­ti­ple times since 2007 for drug pos­ses­sion, rob­beries of vary­ing de­grees and crim­i­nal weapons pos­ses­sion, court records show. He was ar­rested Mon­day on a war­rant and charged with un­law­ful dis­charge of a firearm, two counts of risk of in­jury to a child, crim­i­nal pos­ses­sion of a firearm, first­de­gree as­sault and reck­less en­dan­ger­ment. He was ini­tially held in lieu of $250,000 bail, which was re­duced to $25,000 cash dur­ing his ar­raign­ment Tues­day.

Ru­fus is due back in Su­pe­rior Court in Mid­dle­town on Sept. 19.


Ant­wan Ru­fus

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