By Tara O’Neill
STRATFORD — Police are investigating Stratford’s first homicide in more than a year and a half, after an early morning streetside shooting led to the death of a male victim at Bridgeport Hospital.
Police said the victim was sitting with someone else in a parked car on Regency Terrace when they were approached by two other males at about 2:20 a.m.
The parties “exchanged words,” Stratford Police Capt. Frank Eannotti said, and one of the approaching males pulled out a gun and fired, with “at least one shot striking the victim” inside the car.
Eannotti said police did not expect any further information, including the victim’s name, to be released Saturday.
The last homicide in Stratford had been on May 27, 2017, when 27-year-old Andre Pettway was shot on Garibaldi Avenue and later died at the hospital.
Three people were charged in connection with Pettway’s killing — Brandyn Ford, then 24, of Stratford; Jose Rivera, then 24, of Bridgeport; and Wilfredo Martinez, then 23, of Bridgeport.
Pettway, a Bridgeport resident, was the only homicide in Stratford that year, and the first one the town had seen since 2011, according to city-data.com, a website that provides statistics on towns and cities nationwide.
The data recorded on the site goes back to 2002 and showed Stratford had two homicides in 2002, 2003 and 2008; one in 2005, 2010 and 2011; and none in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
On Saturday afternoon, Police were piecing together what happened during the overnight hours. On Regency Terrace, as on many streets in Stratford, there is a Neighborhood Watch sign under the posted 25 mph speed limit.
“Warning,” the sign reads, “all suspicious persons and activities are immediately reported to our police department.”
A man around the corner on Peace Street was taking down Christmas lights from a tree next to his house, dogs wandered around fenced in front yards and a few cars drove down the street.
At the corner of Peace Street and Regency Terrace broken down Stratford police barriers were left behind from the homicide investigation. Another pile of signs were left on the sidewalk at the corner of Regency Terrace and Barnum Avenue.