NEW HAVEN, Conn. — In fewer than three months, there have already been nine homicides in New Haven, including two in the past week, both domestics.
"The female is identified as Alessia Mesquita," said Acting New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez.
Police said the 28-year-old New Haven mother of two was arguing loudly with her boyfriend 27-year-old Rashod Newton in their car as they were turning from Lenox Street onto Clifton Street, with their one-year-old daughter in the backseat.
"I thought it was a car backfiring," said Dara Norwood, who lives near the shooting scene. "So, I didn’t do anything. I was in my kitchen until I heard one of my neighbors yelled to call the police."
But Ronald Algarin said he knew immediately the sounds were gunshots.
"Being a United States Marine, you know, just always around weapons you knew exactly what those sounds were when they went off."
Seconds after the shooting a surprise: A New Haven police officer just a block away came running toward the shooting scene.
"We have an extra duty Officer Mortali, who was working right in the area of Clifton and he heard the gunshots, and he was able to provide us with some information right away," said Dominguez.
Allegedly, when the officer came running at the car, Rashod Newton turned it around quickly and raced away up Clifton St. But police were able to locate and capture Newton, who has a lengthy criminal history, relatively quickly and the child is safe.
"Currently at the hospital for precautionary reasons to be looked at," Dominguez said of the 1-year-old.
While they develop more information regarding the murder, Newton has for now been arrested on an outstanding assault warrant out of West Haven.
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