WFSB - Eyewitness News

Cleanup begins after first significant snowfall of 2020HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Connecticut is waking up to a world of white on Sunday morning. The first snowstorm of 2020 has people digging out, clearing off their vehicles, and treating surfaces with sand and salt. Torrington recorded the largest amount in the state with 6" of snow overnight. Also, Danielson totaled 5" and Mansfield Center saw 4" of fresh powder. In northern Connecticut, a plow truck caught fire last night at Stateline Plaza in Enfield. No injuries were reported. Many parking bans in cities and towns have expired this morning, allowing drivers to park on the street once again. Click <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/closings/" target="_blank">here</a> to view the parking ban list. Although the clouds gave way to sunny skies, some surfaces were slick and slippery this morning. Over 100 religious establishments cancelled or postponed Sunday services. Outdoor activities later today could be chilly as a cold front approaches, bringing breezes over 25 miles per hour at times. Stay up to date with the weather on the Channel 3 app: <a id="LPlnk427779" href="https://tinyurl.com/y3tfxrn8" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">https://tinyurl.com/y3tfxrn8</a>
Division of Criminal Justice to take lead on officer-involved shootingWEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- On Saturday, it was announced that inspectors from the Division of Criminal Justice will be taking over the investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting that happened in West Haven. The Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad was initially asked to investigate the use of deadly force, however the Division of Criminal Justice will now take it over. The shooting happened on Jan. 15 in West Haven. Police said 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane was shot and killed by state troopers following a carjacking in Norwalk and then a high-speed chase into West Haven. Dash cam and body cam footage was released on Friday night. See it <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/video-state-police-release-video-of-officer-involved-shooting-in/video_8beea612-1c24-59a3-8025-cd3767a6f7bd.html" target="_blank">here</a>. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/state-police-release-video-of-officer-involved-shooting-that-killed/article_0020eb1c-3967-11ea-9150-c3529da1b2c2.html" target="_blank">RELATED: State police release video of officer-involved shooting that killed teen</a> According to state police, it all started Wednesday afternoon when Soulemane reportedly stole a car at knife point in Norwalk. Police said he then led officers on a high-speed chase along I-95, driving on the shoulder and the center median, even hitting two state police cruisers. Police said Soulemane got off at exit 43 and hit another car before troopers boxed him in. Troopers used a stun gun on Soulemane but police say when he then pulled out a knife, that’s when Trooper Brian North fired his gun. Soulemane was taken to the hospital where he died. Channel 3's law enforcement analyst J. Paul Vance, a retired state police lieutenant, weighed in on the dangerous situation. "You’re damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you don't stop it, a family or child gets hurt or killed, why didn't you stop it. If you stop it and you hope the operator will comply with directions given to him," Vance said on Saturday. Bodycam video shows police using a baton to smash the passenger-side window before the shots were fired. That's when the stun gun was deployed. "The last resort is a weapon, and one has to be in fear of their life to use a weapon," Vance said. When Soulemane reached for something in his waistband, that's when North fired several rounds into the car. "There are very strict laws regarding the use of a weapon by law enforcement. And every officer who’s involved in any type of police shooting has to stay within the boundaries of those laws or be culpable himself," Vance said. Soulemane's family is expected to meet with the state's Public Safety Commission on Monday.
Road conditions quickly deteriorate as snow continues to fallHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Snow made its way into the state around 1 p.m. on Saturday, quickly deteriorating road conditions. It started in western Connecticut, making its way east. It spread across the entire state by 4 p.m. Weather alerts were also issued well ahead of the winter storm. Track it with the Ch. 3 Interactive Radar <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/radar/" target="_blank">here</a>. The weather alerts span Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning, which prompted Channel 3 to issue an Early Warning Weather Alert. Part of Litchfield County is under a winter storm warning, while the rest of the state is under a winter weather advisory. Most towns across the state will see between 3 and 4 inches of snow, however town in southeastern CT will likely only see about 2 inches. Meanwhile, in the northwestern part of the state, towns could see up to 5 or 6 inches of snow. "It's a pretty fast moving system," said Meteorologist Melissa Cole. The worst travel conditions will be now through 10/11 p.m. As day shifts to night, there may be a mix of sleet and freezing rain, and then a transition to rain. The rain will move out of southern New England in the morning and Sunday will be dry with a mix of sun and clouds. "Throughout the day on Sunday we expect a mix of sun and clouds with highs near 40; however, a breeze will make it feel a bit colder," Cole said. A big chill could be the headline for Monday. It looks like temperatures may not get out of the 20s through Wednesday. Read the complete technical discussion <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/technical_discussion/" target="_blank">here</a>. For weather updates on smartphones and tablets, head <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/site/station_info/apps" target="_blank">here</a> or text "WFSB" to 23765 to download the Channel 3 app.
Crews work to clear roads as snow continues to fall(WFSB) -- As the snow continues to fall across the state, crews are working to keep roads as clear as possible. Road conditions and visibility started to deteriorate as the afternoon went on Saturday. Track the snow with the Ch. 3 Interactive Radar <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/weather/radar/" target="_blank">here</a>. In Waterbury, the Department of Public Works said its crews hit the streets starting at 2 p.m., with 32 trucks on the roads. Private contractors have also been on stand-by if needed. As for drivers, a man who had to commute from Danbury to Waterbury said his drive rapidly changed in moments. “Some of the lanes were more wet than snow on I-84, but treacherous. You have to be very careful,” William Finn said. While people opted to be on the roads Saturday afternoon, private contractors and the Department of Transportation say the storm’s timing is ideal for clearing, as opposed to the work week when there’s more traffic. Drivers are reminded to give snow plows enough room to clear the highways. To see traffic conditions in your area, <a href="http://marketplace-redirect.doapps.com/3167" target="_blank">download the Ch. 3 app</a>. In Hartford, folks were enjoying the winter weather at Bushnell Park, which was blanketed by snow on Saturday afternoon. The city has a parking ban in effect starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, which means people need to move their cars off city streets.
Thousands gather for Women's March rallies across the USWASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands gathered in cities across the country Saturday as part of the nationwide Women's March rallies focused on issues such as climate change, pay equity, reproductive rights and immigration. Hundreds showed up in New York City and thousands in Washington, D.C. for the rallies, which aim to harness the political power of women, although crowds were noticeably smaller than in previous years. Marches were scheduled Saturday in more than 180 cities. The first marches in 2017 drew hundreds of thousands of people to rallies in cities across the country on the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated. That year's D.C. march drew close to 1 million people. In Manhattan on Saturday, hundreds of people gathered as part of a “Rise and Roar" rally at separate events in Foley Square and Columbus Circle. “Today, we will be the change that is needed in this world! Today, we rise into our power!” activist Donna Hylton told a cheering crowd in Foley Square. Snow began falling by the afternoon in Manhattan, apparently putting a damper on plans for the two groups to converge in large numbers near Times Square. In downtown Los Angeles, thousands of men, women and children filled several blocks as they made their way from a plaza to a park adjacent to City Hall, where a rally featured speeches by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Rep. Maxine Waters and others. Jennifer Siebel Newsom credited women for mobilizing against gun violence, creating the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and discrimination, and taking back the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. “In 2020, I have no doubt that it will be women who will lead again, rise up and move this country forward on a path toward justice,” she said. In Denver, organizers opted to skip the rally after the march and instead invited participants to meet with local organizations to learn more about issues such as reproductive rights, climate change, gun safety and voting. Several thousand came out for the protest in Washington, far fewer than last year when about 100,000 people held a rally east of the White House. But as in previous years, many of the protesters made the trip to the nation’s capital from cities across the country to express their opposition to Trump and his policies. From their gathering spot on Freedom Plaza, they had a clear view down Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol, where the impeachment trial gets underway in the Senate next week. In Washington, three key issues seemed to galvanize most of the protesters: climate change, immigration and reproductive rights. “I teach a lot of immigrant students, and in political times like this I want to make sure I'm using my voice to speak up for them,” said Rochelle McGurn, 30, an elementary school teacher from Burlington, Vermont who was in D.C. to march. “They need to feel like they belong, because they do.” Peta Madry of New London, Connecticut, was celebrating her 70th birthday in D.C. by attending her fourth Women’s March with her sister, Cynthia Barnard, of San Rafael, California. Both women were wearing handknitted pink hats that date from the first march. With pained expressions, they spoke about Trump’s determination to reverse the policies of his predecessor Barack Obama and his treatment of women. “Look what he’s doing to Greta Thunberg,” Madry said, referring to the teenage climate activist. “He’s the biggest bully in the world.” Melissa McCullough of Georgetown, Indiana, said when she recently turned 50 she promised herself that she would get more involved politically. “I’m here to protest Trump, as a woman,” she said. Her daughter, 19-year-old University of Cincinnati student Elizabeth McCullough, chimed in to say that most women’s issues are human issues, and they talked about the need to protect immigrants. “You have to push to protect everyone or no one’s safe,” Melissa McCullough said. The protesters planned to march around the White House, but Trump wasn’t there. He is spending the holiday weekend at his resort in Florida. Organizers of the Washington march faced criticism from some local African American activists for failing to focus on local issues and damaging the ability of local activists to organize. “Local D.C. is a domestic colony and the actions of national organizers have to recognize that,” Black Lives Matter D.C. wrote in a letter this week to Women’s March organizers. “Here in D.C., these unstrategic mass mobilizations distract from local organizing, often overlook the black people who actually live here and even result in tougher laws against demonstration being passed locally.” ——— This story has been updated to correct the activist's name to Donna Hylton, not Hill. ——— Associated Press reporter Daisy Nguyen in San Francisco contributed to this report.
In Connecticut, 'day of action' replaces Women's MarchHARTFORD, CT (AP) — Connecticut organizers aren't staging a Women's March like in past years, but they're still hosting events in the state's major cities on Saturday. Women’s March Connecticut organizers say the press conferences in front of Bridgeport Superior Court, New Haven Superior Court and the Hartford Capitol Building will highlight key issues such as abortion, gun violence, immigration, gay rights and the environment. They say the events are meant to help get people more engaged and involved in the issues than a one-day march sometimes can. “The previous marches have been powerful visibility events and the Women’s March CT has worked hard to amplify the voices of those most marginalized in the State of Connecticut for the last three years and now it’s time for action,” the organization said in a statement. Marches are still happening Saturday in D.C., New York and other cities, however. Local organizers encouraged those looking for a rally to attend those events, which also include gatherings in the Boston-area and <a href="Participants%20will%20begin%20gathering%20at%20the%20Northgate%20Plaza,%201985%20Main%20St.%20at%2011%20a.m.%20where%20there%20will%20be%20music%20and%20speakers%20until%20noon,%20when%20the%20march%20begins.%20The%20march%20will%20end%20at%20Springfield%20City%20Hall%20with%20a%20rally." target="&mdash;blank">Springfield, Massachusetts</a>. The marches have been held in Connecticut since 2017, when about 10,000 people gathered at the state Capitol in Hartford. Last year's Women's March in Hartford drew nearly 3,000 people.
Stonington church reopens after reconstruction projectSTONINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- A Roman Catholic church of 150 years in Stonington opened for Mass on Saturday for the first time since a reconstruction project temporarily closed its doors. Saint Michael The Archangel Church on Liberty Street is open until 9 p.m. today to allow people to experience the new building. A Mass of Dedication was held at 10 a.m. and due to an anticipated numbers, it was a ticketed event, free of charge. A regular Mass is being held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, and confessions will be heard from 3 to 3:45 p.m.
Crews battle cold temps and slippery conditions at house fire in ManchesterMANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) -- Crews battled cold temperatures and slippery conditions while fighting a house fire in Manchester on Saturday morning. Firefighters were dispatched to Constance Road around 4 a.m. following a phone call from a homeowner who woke up to a smoke detector going off, according to Fire Chief David Billings. Flames shot through the roof and attic, which prompted a defensive operation. Roughly 25 firefighters responded and crews used a ladder to hit fire that spread quickly through the home. The homeowner made it out safely and will be relocated with help from the American Red Cross, Billings said. No one else was inside the home at the time of the fire. The building department said the home is uninhabitable until repairs are made. Low overnight temperatures created additional hazards for firefighters, including frozen water lines and icy conditions, Billings said. Although sand and salt was spread to help alleviate icy conditions, several firefighters slipped and fell. The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation.
Winterfest closed Saturday night due to Hartford parking banHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- A parking ban in the city of Hartford will cause Winterfest to close its skating rink on Saturday evening. The parking ban has been issued due to the developing snow storm. Vehicles will not be allowed to park on city streets in Hartford beginning at 6 p.m. Winterfest will also close at 6 p.m., according to Mary Coursey. Despite the impending post storm clean-up, the skating rink will be open during its regular hours on Sunday. Track the winter storm <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/early-warning-weather-alert-winter-storm-to-bring-measurable-snow/article_b4250e18-360b-11ea-ae58-6364db634b5f.html" target="_blank">here</a>.
State police release video of officer-involved shooting that killed teenWEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – State police on Friday released footage of a fatal officer-involved shooting Wednesday night in West Haven. A teenager was shot and killed by a state police trooper on Wednesday night in West Haven. It all happened following a reported carjacking in Norwalk. As the state investigates the shooting, the family of 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane says they’re filled with grief and plenty of questions. Soulemane’s brother says it’s hard to believe. He told Channel 3 that police officers knocked on his door early Thursday morning breaking the news that his brother was dead. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Public Safety says they will be as transparent as possible, along with releasing the trooper’s body camera video in the near future. “The type of person that just wanted to see everyone smile, wanted to put a smile on everyone’s face,” said Saeed Soulemane, Mubarak’s brother. For Saeed, the past few days have been extremely hard. He says his brother had mental health issues, dealing with Schizophrenia, but wasn’t a violent person. According to state police, he stole a car at knife point in Norwalk Wednesday afternoon. Police then observed him traveling at high speeds on I-95, driving on the shoulder and the center median, even hitting two state police cruisers. Police said Mubarak got off at exit 43 and hit another car before troopers boxed him in. They tried tasing him and police say when he displayed a knife, that’s when Trooper Brian North fired his gun. "He was in a car, he was shot sitting down in the car. That doesn't make sense to us, so we want some answers," said Tahir Mohammad, Mubarak's uncle. While local New Haven pastors want the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate, body and dash cam video from the troopers on scene will hopefully provide those answers and the state’s public safety commissioner says it will all be released soon saying, “Staff is working to get the video and much more info out to the community well ahead of the 96-hour mandate. We hope that the release of the information provides the transparency and some of the answers out community deserves.” “It’s tragic that the officer did it, but it’s more of a tragedy that this young man is dead, killed,” said Reverend Dr. Boise Kimber, First Calvary Baptist Church. The ACLU-CT released a statement on the shooting saying that state police should not conduct the investigation saying, "Police cannot police themselves. Yet state police have been assigned to investigate themselves for chasing, shooting, and killing Mubarak Soulemane. It is critically important for the investigation into Soulemane’s death at the hands of Connecticut State Police to be conducted by an independent law enforcement agency, not the same agency whose employees chased and killed him. The Division of Criminal Justice has the power to assign a different police agency to investigate Soulemane’s death, and they should. A local police department typically does not conduct the investigation when one of its employees hurts or kills someone, and the Connecticut State Police should not do so, either." The NAACP-CT also released a statement saying, "Police violence against Black and Latinx people is a pandemic in Connecticut, and it must end. Whether a car chase, tasing, beating, or gunshot, every time police harm or kill someone in our state, they harm families and communities. We call on the state to assign a different police agency to investigate this case, because the state police cannot and should not be left to investigate themselves." Mubarak's family is expected to meet with the state's public safety commissioner on Monday morning.