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Vernon PD looking for 'armed and dangerous' suspect in connection to August shooting

Police said five others have been arrested and face charges related to the shooting and a separate drug trafficking conspiracy
Credit: FOX61

VERNON, Conn. — Five people have been arrested and charged in connection to an attempted daytime shooting in Rockville. 

The shooting happened on Prospect Street in downtown Rockville on August 27th. 

According to police, one juvenile male suffered injuries to his head and neck after being pistol-whipped by two male suspects. It was also learned that one of the suspects pointed their pistol at the victim’s face and pulled the trigger-firing one shot, police said. However, the victim was able to deflect the gun to avoid getting shot.

Police said another juvenile male and an adult male were at the scene during the altercation. 

Witnesses identified the suspects as 18-year-old Trenton Merrill and 21-year-old Jakwai Sosa. According to police, Trenton was identified as the suspect who shot at the victim. 

The victim was not struck by a bullet, police said. 

Police report that one of the suspect’s guns was recovered from a storm drain on Ward Street after being discarded by a passenger in the suspect vehicle as it drove away.

The investigation into the incident led police to search a home on Union Street. Police said those arrested face charges related to the shooting, the search of the home, and co-conspirators and accessories. 

Police said during the execution of the warrant, police seized a large quantity of drugs and US currency related to a separate drug trafficking conspiracy, and surveillance camera systems. 

Surveillance footage was also obtained from town owned cameras, as well as residents which captured the shooting, discarding of a firearm, and the post-shooting flight of Trenton and Sosa, according to police.

Through investigation, police said they believed the victim was targeted as part of an ongoing and escalating feud between two groups of young men that Vernon Police have tried to diffuse over the past two years. 

Police said despite a lack of cooperation from the involved parties, police have made over a dozen arrests connected to these incidents. 

During the investigation Vernon police said they had received 'valuable' assistance from the Windsor Locks Police Department on the shooting investigation and execution of the arrest warrants. 

The investigation remains active and anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Thomas Van Tasel at 860-872-9126 x 3767.

Arrested were:

Credit: FOX61
Jakwai Sosa

Jakwai Sosa, age 21, of Vernon was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Assault 2nd Degree with a Firearm and various other charges related to the shooting. Police said he was additionally charged with operating a drug factory, possession of controlled substance with intent to sell, and various drug charges related to the search on Union Street. Sosa is being held at the Vernon Police Department on bonds totaling $1.6 million and will appear in Rockville Superior Court on September 23, 2020. 

There is still a search for the second alleged shooter, Trenton Merrill, age 18, who resided in the house Union Street, according to police. Police said Trenton has outstanding felony arrest warrants for Attempted Murder and other felony charges. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees Trenton is encouraged to immediately call police. 

Credit: FOX61
Carlyann Merrill

Vernon police also arrested Carlyann Merrill, age 41, who also resided at the home on Union Street and charged her with Tampering with Evidence and Interfering with Police. 

Carlyann is accused of deleting video footage captured by her home surveillance system after learning police were investigating a shooting involving her son, police said.

The interfering with police charge alleges that Carlyann refused to surrender her cellular phone which is believed contained evidence, to the officers who attempted to seize it from her, according to police. 

The phone had to be forcibly taken from her, police said.

A 17-year-old juvenile male who was reportedly driver of the vehicle that transported Trenton and Sosa to and from the shooting was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Criminal Liability to Commit Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Assault 2 nd with Firearm and various other charges.

Police said the juvenile was brought to Hartford Juvenile Detention and is presently being detained. 

Credit: FOX61
Angela Raber

A girlfriend of one of the involved individuals, Angela Raber, age 18, of Vernon, was charged with providing a false statement and conspiracy to commit sale of controlled substances. 

She reportedly provided police with a false statement related to her involvement in the shooting and is alleged to be part of a drug trafficking conspiracy involving the home on Union Street, police said. 

An additional juvenile was arrested and charged as part of a drug trafficking conspiracy involving the home on Union Street. Police said he will be referred to juvenile authorities. 

Again, anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Thomas Van Tasel at 860-872-9126 x 3767.