Man charged in health center shooting
Police: Suspect discharged weapon several times from across a busy street downtown
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.