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Shooting at Hartford party leaves 1 dead, 1 injured: Police

The shooting happened at Shultas Place around 2:15 a.m. on Monday.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Hartford just logged it’s 22nd homicide of the year on a night where it was hard to distinguish a gunshot from an exploding firework.

One woman is dead and a man injured after a shooting early Monday morning at a party in Hartford, according to police.

It happened in a garage in the back of a multi-family home on Shultas Place. Neighbors say the location is often the scene of large illegal house parties. The Hartford Police Department told FOX61 those parties are more common in the summer, but they often go unreported.

RELATED: Hartford Police investigate shooting

 "A very large house party that was occurring at that address," said Hartford Police Lt. Aaron Boisvert.

It made for a deadly start to the July 4th holiday. 22-year-old Jayla Heaven of Hartford was shot dead at a ‘Denim and White’ illegal house party on that was promoted on social media. 

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"It was pretty chaotic when the officers got there. From what I understand there were hundreds of people back there," explained Lt. Boisvert. Just a night before, the garage in back of the same multi-family home was also the scene of an illegal birthday bash.

RELATED: Hartford Police investigate shooting

Homicide detectives were back at the home Monday morning with a search warrant. Evidence markers were placed near a woman’s shoe as a drone was deployed to survey the scene from above. "This is the reason why a lot of us are trying to get out of this area," said Hector Rivera, who lives in the neighborhood.

He told FOX61 what happened, sadly, doesn’t surprise him. "I have younger siblings. They walk home from school every day. A bullet doesn’t have a name. You really have to be careful when you pull that trigger."

Trash and empty alcohol containers were seen strewn about the property and the sidewalk. It tells the story of a night of drinking and dancing. Police say Heaven and another male gunshot victim in his 20's who is expected to be okay, were not the intended victims, but rather, caught in the crossfire of a fight. "The guns have got to stop. We need to stop the guns. They ain’t doing crap," expressed a lifelong resident of Hartford who didn't want to reveal his name.

He says the streets weren’t always a dangerous place. "When I was young we had it good. I was a little kid. We had the Italian parade and everybody was calm. Then this started with the drugs with the violence."

A man in his twenties was also taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Police said there was a large party going on where the shooting happened. 

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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