The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT)

Waterbury woman charged in shooting at Elmer’s Diner

- By Kendra Baker

DANBURY — A 27year-old city woman has been arrested in connection with last year’s shooting at Elmer’s Diner.

Waterbury resident Shanice Taylor Cole is facing carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit, accessory to illegal discharge of a firearm and other charges stemming from the July 2022 incident.

Cole was identified as one of the four suspects who fled the diner on Padanaram Road after a brawl inside the restaurant led to gunfire. She is one of six people arrested in the incident, Danbury police’s spokespers­on said on Tuesday.

Danbury police responded to Elmer’s Diner shortly after 4 a.m. July 24, 2022, and learned that a physical altercatio­n between two groups of patrons broke out inside the diner and gunshots were fired outside.

No injuries were reported, and four suspects took off in a silver Honda Accord prior to police arrival.

It didn’t take long for authoritie­s to apprehend two of the suspects and identify the other two. Alphonso Gordon and Patrick Fahey were arrested that night and charged with breach of peace, according to Danbury police spokespers­on Erin Henry. Fahey was also charged with criminal mischief in the third degree.

Arrest warrants were later issued for Cole, Victor

Gonzalez-Delacruz, Luis Perez-Rodriguez and Jose Rodriguez, said Henry. Gonzalez-Delacruz, PerezRodri­guez, and Rodriguez were charged with breach of peace. They all turned themselves in August 2022 on the warrants, according to the spokespers­on.

Cole was taken into custody on a warrant on Jan. 26.

Fight at diner

In addition to a cell phone, police said a business card with Gordon’s names on it was left behind at the diner, according to the warrant for Cole’s arrest. Police traced the name on a card to a Brookfield residence and found a car matching the suspect vehicle in the driveway, the warrant states.

Through their investigat­ion, police said they learned that Cole and three men stopped at Elmer’s Diner after a night of drinking and got into an argument with another group of patrons inside the restaurant.

Police said the argument turned physical after one of the male suspects struck someone from the other group in the face and kicked him a couple times. Surveillan­ce footage showed Cole retrieving a large handbag from a Honda Accord in the parking lot and carrying it to the front of the diner, according to the warrant.

A witness who was in the parking lot when Cole went to the car told police they thought she might have retrieved the bag because there was a gun in it, the warrant states.

When Cole returned to the front of the diner with the bag, police said one of the male suspects joined her and at least one gunshot was fired, causing patrons to seek shelter and cover inside the diner.

Several witnesses told police the male suspect fired the gun, according to Cole’s arrest warrant.

After that, police said Cole and the male suspect ran to the Honda Accord and were soon joined by the other two men they came with.

Police said another shot was fired as they drove out of the parking lot and surveillan­ce footage showed patrons inside the diner again “ducking for cover and seeking shelter.”

In addition to the carrying a firearm without a permit and accessory to illegal discharge of a firearm charges, Cole is facing illegal operation of a motor vehicle under suspension and evading responsibi­lity. Police said she struck another vehicle in the Elmer’s Diner parking lot while fleeing the scene.

Cole did not have a valid pistol permit or any firearms registered to her, police said in the warrant. Police said there was an warrant out for her arrest for a Sept. 26, 2021 incident where she faced a charge of illegal operation of a motor vehicle under suspension.

Cole is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 28 at state Superior Court in Danbury.

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