WFSB - Eyewitness News

Hartford police: Windsor teen targeted in overnight shooting, crashHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Detectives in Hartford are investigating a deadly 'targeted' shooting where the victim was a teenage boy. Family members at the scene identified the victim as 16-year-old Felipe Lopez of Windsor. Hartford police later confirmed the identity. According to officers, it happened on Albany Avenue around 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday. During a news conference around 9:30 a.m., police revealed that the car Felipe Lopez had been driving was uninsured and not registered. He did not have a license. However, they also said the vehicle was not reported stolen. Felipe Lopez was found inside the crashed vehicle. Police said he struck a parked car in a church parking lot. “The car went through the traffic light at Sigourney Street going northbound, crossed Albany Avenue, went into the driveway and struck a car right in that church driveway lot," said Lt. Paul Cicero, Hartford police. Police also said he had been shot in the torso and several other places. However, the vehicle had no bullets in it. Felipe Lopez was the only one in the car when officers arrived. They said he was taken to a local hospital where he died just before 1:30 a.m. "There's a lot of emotions; sad, anger. Why is a 16-year-old driving around at 1 a.m.? Why is he in a car that's not registered or insured? What is he doing out there? Why did someone feel like the best course of action was to take this young boy's life," Cicero said. According to his family, Lopez would've celebrated his 17th birthday in a couple days. "He was my baby," said Alma Lopez, Felipe's mother. "He was a good kid, a father, a son, a boyfriend, a brother, nephew, a friend to a lot of people." Police said they'll be looking at everything from the car, including his cell phone. They'll also be looking at cameras that were in the area. “We’re going to try and follow the car back from where it came from and see if we can get more information in that regard," Cicero said. Throughout the day on Albany Avenue, friend left behind candles. "We used to just make funny jokes and stuff and just laugh with each other," said Jadriel Santana. Felipe Lopez was enrolled in Windsor Public Schools. Superintendent Dr. Craig Cooke said he was a student at LP Wilson, which was described as an off site program. Grief counselors will be on hand at both LP Wilson and Windsor High School. Felipe Lopez's family told Channel 3 that a vigil will happen at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Albany Avenue. “If anybody wants to come out and support my little brother and give their condolences, that would be great," said Jose Lopez, Felipe Lopez's brother. Family members allowed Channel 3 to release photos of Felipe Lopez. They described him as a funny, kind and all-around good person. They also said his 17th birthday would have been on Friday. <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/interview-teen-s-mother-makes-plea-for-information/video_0d287fb0-fe22-54b3-a60c-a2117315ca08.html" target="_blank">His mother made a plea</a> for people to call Hartford police with any information. "He was a baby, he was my baby," said Alma Lopez, Felipe Lopez's mother. "Anyone who has any kind of information on what happened to him, please contact Hartford Police Department." The homicide marked Hartford's 8th of the year, police said. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hartford Police Department. “I don’t care how little information you might think it is, please, please contact Hartford PD," Alma Lopez said. "I need information about what happened to my baby.” In a statement, Windsor School Superintendent Craig Cooke said "It is with deep sadness that I must share the news of the death of Windsor student Felipe Lopez, who passed away from a serious injury in Hartford, CT early this morning. Felipe has been a member of the Windsor school community for a few years and will be remembered fondly by his friends and fellow students. Losing a member of the school community can be quite devastating for students and staff as well as the greater Windsor community. We have grief counselors available at Windsor High School and the L.P. Wilson Community Center today and continuing through the week as needed. Discussing thoughts and feelings about this event is important in helping students work through their grief. We send our sincere sympathies to Felipe’s family and friends." Refresh this page and watch Eyewitness News for updates.
Sources identify Wethersfield officer involved in deadly shootingWETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) -- A deadly officer-involved shooting that happened over the weekend in Wethersfield remains under investigation. On Wednesday, sources identified the name of the officer who fired his weapon as Officer Layau Eulizier Jr. Last Saturday, police tried to stop a car on the Silas Deane Highway that didn’t have license plates matching the vehicle. They thought it may have been stolen. The car was being driven by 18-year-old Anthony Jose Vega Cruz. Police said Vega Cruz crashed into a cruiser and then drove at Eulizier. That’s when the officer started shooting. Cruz was shot and <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/teen-injured-in-wethersfield-officer-involved-shooting-died-police-said/article_81075e12-64e9-11e9-b370-4fb79061608f.html" target="_blank">later died on Monday</a>. Eyewitness News learned Eulizier was involved in another deadly shooting in 2015. According to a report from the state’s attorney office, he fired his gun, along with a trooper, at a robbery suspect. He was working as a Manchester police officer at the time. After an investigation, the state’s attorney’s office found that shooting was justified. On Monday, <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/questions-remain-after-teen-s-officer-involved-shooting-death/article_40ff4882-65ae-11e9-a41e-af68c12d1f37.html" target="_blank">protestors held a rally outside the Wethersfield Police Dept.</a>, looking for answers as to what happened during the incident. Cornell Lewis organized another protest for Cruz to be held on Thursday. “We are going to disrupt the social fabric of their society,” Lewis said. “In plain language we are going to make it uncomfortable for the town of Wethersfield and we want them to feel the same kind of pain that we feel as people of color every time police shoot us down.” The protest will be held at the Wethersfield Police Dept. on Thursday at 5 p.m. State police have now taken over the investigation. Both officers who were involved are on paid administrative leave. This was the second shooting in the state in just one week. The family was out of New Haven and has been in touch with Vega Cruz family. There is dash cam video, and that could be released this week. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Vega Cruz <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/justiceforchulo" target="_blank">here</a>.
Reward offered after puppy stolen from Meriden pet storeMERIDEN, CT (WFSB) – A local pet store is offering a reward for information about a woman who stole a puppy. According to Gentle Jungle Pets, a pet store in the Meriden Mall, the unidentified woman stole a puppy on Tuesday around 7:30 p.m. The woman, approximately 40-years-old, stole a female miniature pinscher from the store. The dog is microchipped, according to the store. Anyone with information is asked to call Meriden Police.
Gov. Lamont calls for agencies to reduce energy consumption, environmental impactsHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Gov. Ned Lamont announced his first executive order on Wednesday. The order calls for all state agencies to reduce energy consumption and environmental impacts. The state has three goals to meet by 2030, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent, reducing waste disposal by 25 percent, and water consumption by 10 percent. Lamont said "as a major consumer of energy with more than 3,000 structures and 3,500 vehicles in our fleet, we can lower the state’s operating costs, support investment in sustainable businesses, and safeguard our environment." For more on Lamont’s plan and energy efficiency programs underway in our state, <a href="https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-1.pdf" target="_blank">click here</a>.
Police respond to afternoon shooting in New HavenNEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- Police in New Haven were called to a shooting on Wednesday afternoon. It happened in the area of Division Street near Sheffield Avenue. One person who was inside a car was shot. Another person inside the same car ran from the scene. The car crashed into a bus shelter. No further details were released. Stay with Ch. 3 as more information becomes available.
Parents charged with murder of 5-year-old Illinois boy after police find his body(CNN/Meredith) -- The body of a 5-year-old boy reported as missing last week was found wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave and his parents have been with his murder, police said on Wednesday. Soon after beginning their investigation, police said it was likely the boy, Andrew "AJ" Freund, was neither abducted nor walked away from the family's home in Crystal Lake, outside of Chicago. Instead, the investigation has focused on the home itself. The search for AJ began last Thursday morning when the boy's father, Andrew Freund Sr., calmly called police and reported him as missing. "We have a missing child," he said, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/23/us/missing-illinois-boy-911-call/index.html" target="_blank">according to a 911 call released</a> by the Crystal Lake Police Department on Tuesday. "Woke up this morning and he wasn't ... he wasn't." Freund told a 911 dispatcher that he put AJ to bed in his pajamas last Wednesday night but could not find him in the morning before school. "I had a doctor appointment this morning and when I got back from the doctor's appointment and I checked in on him to say good morning and he wasn't there," the father told the dispatcher Thursday. He said he searched all around the house and canvassed the neighborhood but couldn't find him. The resulting search has included 15 police agencies, drones, and rescue canine units. Sonar teams that searched Crystal Lake found nothing, and the canine teams "only picked up Andrew's 'scent' within the residence, indicating that Andrew had not walked away on foot," the police said. "There is no indication that would lead police to believe that an abduction had taken place," the department said in a statement. Crystal Lake Police said JoAnn Cunningham, the boy's mother, "continues to be uncooperative with police." Cunningham has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder, four counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated domestic battery and one count of failure to report a missing/dead child. Freund Sr. has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated domestic battery, two counts of concealment of homicidal death and one count of failure to report a missing/dead child. Both parents are in police custody, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/CrystalLakePD/posts/10156425433875028?__xts__[0]=68.ARDnn2sb68O77c_loxou8sqWsTp9UPyRW9zCv49_S_wAN_9CMmQxnTBDXdtPexVxu_g7JP2UhIvMR3_7G9gIH368oN_wloUgk9IvbEFr7HwTDWqHWviOaJxm1W6LwxhPYAcXGzpYKbrpPUjAu1Vjz4KwPV-Yyy2KydeIVMemvPAHlz_YFkJgXJGBaMcJkeJnMJLyAvviHYZogNNCnhLhKxEDnqceuI6cu_nRoZQqo6-P0mf8fjpp-Ocd_nijREbXT5LvFBooTv2-OFf81MiLrGrvr4thie-iPVn1WyWfG-Zao3SahTbL2kbJRC5aXtn1UVP42t92jwi2dE49&amp;__tn__=-R" target="_blank">according to a press release</a>. Police said the Crystal Lake Police Department and the FBI interviewed the parents and found information through a forensic analysis of cell phone data. Police said once the parents were presented with the cell phone data, they gave investigators information that lead to the discovery of AJ's body. He was found wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave in a remote area in Woodstock, Illinois. AJ's cause of death has not been determined. Child welfare investigations Police on Tuesday released 63 pages of reports detailing several police calls to Andrew's home in recent years. In December, for instance, an officer described unlivable conditions in the home with "dog feces and urine" scattered there. The officer during the visit also reported a suspicious bruise on one of the children, but a child welfare worker was unable to make a determination of abuse, the report said. Someone at the house said it may have been caused by a dog. <a href="https://www.news.meredithlmg.com/tncms/asset/editorial/2b1e11f9-e6ab-5032-b5dc-c9c12dc9598c">Police in Illinois release father's 'calm' 911 call about missing 5-year-old son</a> Months earlier, a local resident called police to check on the children because the home had been without power for weeks, according to the reports. An officer wrote the two children appeared "healthy and happy" and that child welfare authorities said the lack of electricity did not warrant their investigation. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has "been involved with the family" since AJ's birth, department spokesman Jassen Strokosch told CNN. AJ "was brought into care with us" soon after he was born, when "neglect was indicated on part of the mom," Strokosch said. From 2013 to 2015, the infant was in the care of someone else, he said. The department was called in twice in 2018 on allegations of neglect in March and of abuse and neglect in December, Strokosch said. The allegations were determined to be unfounded in both instances, he said. A younger sibling who had been in the home until this week is now living with another family, Strokosch said. Parents spoke to the media The boy's father, Andrew Freund Sr., spoke to TV cameras saying they were extremely worried about their son. "AJ, please come home," his father said. "We love you very much. You're not in any trouble. We're just worried to death. Please, please come home." George Kililis, an attorney for Cunningham, told <a href="https://abc7chicago.com/missing-crystal-lake-boy-5-did-not-leave-home-on-foot-police-say/5259502/" target="_blank">CNN affiliate WLS</a> the boy's mother "doesn't know what happened to AJ, and had nothing to do with the disappearance of AJ. Ms. Cunningham is worried sick. She is devastated." By Eric Levenson, CNN
'Real ID' driver's license program goes into effect next yearHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- If you are planning a trip out of state, you may need to update your driver's license to be able to board your flight. Beginning in October of 2020, you'll need what's called a “Real ID Driver’s License." The new license will have a gold star in the upper right-hand corner. To obtain one, you'll have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles office in person, with documents to proving your citizenship and Connecticut residency. For more information on how to obtain a Real ID, <a href="https://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=4078&amp;q=477752" target="_blank">click here</a>.
Victim of New Haven officer-involved shooting released from hospitalHAMDEN, CT (WFSB) - Clergy and community leaders responded to body camera footage that shows the moments a Hamden officer opened fire on what appeared to be an unarmed couple in New Haven. The <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/video-police-release-body-cam-footage-of-new-haven-officer/video_a0853b99-c24e-57fa-941f-9f0fee6de128.html" target="_blank">state released the video</a> on Tuesday, which is rare during an active investigation. It revealed that the body cams worn by both the Hamden officer and a responding Yale officer were either improperly used or not used at all. Bishops and community leaders held a news conference on Wednesday morning, saying the Hamden and Yale officers involved should be fired. They said they have issues with how dispatch wasn't notified about the officers' attempt to stop the car <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/body-cam-footage-shows-some-of-officer-involved-shooting/article_962d3324-65b2-11e9-af5d-df513a94d85f.html" target="_blank">The state said it released the video a week after the incident</a> in an effort to be as transparent as possible. Channel 3 was the first station to show viewers <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/clergy-community-awaits-release-of-body-cam-footage-of-officer/article_37bfad56-6532-11e9-84b4-db2f813d7f7e.html" target="_blank">a version of surveillance video</a> that showed the officer-involved shooting on Dixwell Avenue. The body cam video <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/video-police-release-body-cam-footage-of-new-haven-officer/video_a0853b99-c24e-57fa-941f-9f0fee6de128.html" target="_blank">showed Hamden Officer Devin Eaton's perspective</a>. It was a quick sequence, but the state replayed it for the media at three different speeds. Stephanie Washington, 22, was shot in the face, authorities said. Her boyfriend, 21-year-old Paul Witherspoon, was not hurt. He was the one behind the wheel. Washington was released from the hospital on Wednesday, according to a family friend. The couple was inside a car that matched the description of one reported in an armed robbery at a gas station in Hamden, state investigators said. The robbery happened just moments before the officer-involved shooting. Eaton crossed the city line into New Haven looking for the car. The body cam footage was accessed through a recall function because Eaton turned it on after firing his weapon, the state said. Yale Officer Terrance Pollack, who also responded, never even turned his on, the state confirmed. "The cameras are inconsistent not only [for] state statute but post recommended policy and procedures when engaging your cameras," said Commissioner James Rovella, Department of Emergency Services and Public Safety. The video will be enhanced, but that part of the investigation could take months. The affidavit of the search warrant ordered on Witherspoon's car is expected to be made available on Wednesday. However, the state revealed that there were no weapons found during a search of the vehicle. No one has been charged in the case.
Stop & Shop strike cost company about $100 millionBOSTON (AP) — The owners of New England's largest supermarket chain are projecting around $100 million in losses from the labor strike that ended Easter Sunday. Ahold Delhaize, the Dutch company that owns Stop &amp; Shop, said <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/stop-shop-strikes-over-after-tentative-agreements-reached/article_96fcfd06-648c-11e9-bb72-1f8e37f2936a.html" target="_blank">the 11-day strike</a> is expected to lead to losses between $90 million and $110 million. The company says generally lower sales, lost revenue from "seasonal and perishable inventory" and supply chain costs were the main drivers. Stop &amp; Shop officials and the United Food and Commercial Workers union reached a tentative, three-year agreement Sunday. Some 31,000 workers at 240 stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut returned to work Monday. Union members are <a href="https://www.wfsb.com/news/stop-shop-contract-vote-set-for-thursday/article_e046677e-65b6-11e9-aa4a-4f438dba0bb2.html" target="_blank">voting on the proposal</a> Wednesday and Thursday.
3 Hartford students taken to hospital after smoking marijuanaHARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Three high school students in Hartford were sent to the hospital Wednesday morning. A school spokesperson says three male students from Bulkeley High School were allegedly smoking marijuana on the way to school. When they arrived at school they smelled like marijuana and were questioned about it. They were taken to the on-site clinic where a nurse checked them out and had concern because their blood pressure was high. The students are being further checked at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.