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Bulkeley High Volleyball player, 17, dies days after Hartford shooting, suspect faces judge

The teen was one of four who were shot during an attempted robbery, police said. One of the suspects has been charged.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A 17-year-old girl is dead days after she was shot in Hartford, police said. 

The shooting also injured two others and killed one man.

According to police, police were called to an area on Maple Avenue just after 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. It was reported that a 17-year-old girl was suffering from gunshot wounds. 

When officers got to the scene, they also encountered a vehicle crash at Maple Avenue and Benton Street, with the man behind the wheel suffering from a gunshot wound. 

The teen was rushed to Connecticut Children's Medical Center in critical condition, and the driver was taken to Hartford Hospital, also in critical condition. 

Moments later, officers were called to a C-Town store located at 165 Wethersfield Avenue on the report of two men who were shot and dropped off in the area. 

Officers found the men, and they were also taken to Hartford Hospital. One of them, 33-year-old Carlos Frank-Nieves of Philadelphia, was listed in critical condition. 

The other man, 25-year-old Joseph Vargas-Mercadao, also from Philadelphia, was pronounced dead.

Police said at the time that the investigation pointed to the entire incident occurring inside an apartment on Maple Avenue after an attempted robbery. 

Police believe the shots rang out between the suspects and someone in the apartment. 

Hartford Police Major Crimes and Crime Scene Divisions responded and took over the investigation. 

According to investigators, evidence developed into probable cause against Frank-Nieves to charge him in connection with the incident. 

The teen, identified as Alondra Vega-Martinez, who lived at the Maple Avenue apartment, was pronounced dead on Tuesday.

The family of the would-be incoming senior at Bulkely High School is now asking for privacy.  

“I know she was very critical since they incident. They were waiting on family. I understand some family had to fly in from Puerto Rico to say their goodbyes,” said LT. Aaron Boisvert, Hartford Police Department Spokesman. “Very heartbreaking. From everything we have at this point, she had nothing to do with anything. She was in the safety of her home. Horrible.”

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Hartford Public Schools sent an email to families stating counselors were on hand.

Alondra was a member of the volleyball team.

Frank-Nieves was released from the hospital and was charged with home invasion, conspiracy to commit home invasion, two counts of criminal attempted murder, three counts of unlawful restraint, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, impersonating an officer, and criminal possession of a firearm. 

Defense attorney Angel Lugo said, “This was a chaotic situation with multiple parties involved.”

Prosecutor Jesse Giddings added, “They attempted to present themselves as police officers to gain entry into the home.”

According to court documents, police found cash, a cash-counting machine, and a firearm in the apartment. Nieves was allegedly found in possession of zip ties and duct tape. He’s held on a $3 million dollar bond. 

Police said upgraded charges are expected. 

Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  


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