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West Hartford shooting suspect taken into custody after weekend-long search

Police filed multiple charges against the suspect accused in a shooting incident near the University of Saint Joseph campus.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn — West Hartford Police have arrested the suspect in a shooting on a university campus early Friday morning.

22-year-old Darnell Barnes was taken into custody Sunday night, according to West Hartford Police.

Members of the WHPD Detective Division served an active warrant stemming from a shooting on the University of Saint Joseph campus early Friday morning. The victim of that shooting crashed their vehicle shortly after the shooting.

Barnes has been charged with assault, reckless endangerment, evading responsibility, criminal mischief and assault with a vehicle.

Barnes is currently being held on $1,000,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning.

On 11/06/2022 shortly before 11:30PM, West Hartford Police personnel took Darnell Barnes (DOB 04/04/2000) into custody. ...

Posted by Town of West Hartford Police Department on Sunday, November 6, 2022

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Police had been searching for Barnes for multiple days, after a shooting that happened on the western side of the University of Saint Joseph campus on Albany Avenue around 2:20 a.m. Friday.

Police had responded to the area on the report of shots fired. Officers then also responded to a rollover, single-car crash on Albany Avenue near Bainton Road which they later confirmed is connected to the initial report of gunfire. 

The driver of the car was seriously injured and was taken to an area hospital for treatment, officials said. The driver also suffered gunshot wounds, police said.

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In a Facebook post, Massachusetts  said they were helping with the search. They deployed numerous officers and units, along with local police, searching for Barnes, believed to be from Hartford. 

Police said West Hartford investigators placed Barnes in the Blanford, Russell area of Massachusetts. 

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Credit: Massachusetts State Police

Mass. found Barnes' vehicle, a black Nissan Pathfinder with New Mexico plates, on the western side of the Mass Pike in Blandford. 

When Mass. State Police Special Tactical Operations made an attempt to approach the vehicle, they found that Barnes was not inside. No guns were found in the vehicle as well. 

Massachusetts police said they did not locate Barnes at the Mass Pike, but will continue to work with West Hartford police in their search.

"It's pretty surprising. This stuff doesn't usually happen in this area, so it's just weird to see all the lights around and the street shut down," said Eli Aroesty of West Hartford. 

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University of Saint Joseph's public safety was notified by police about the incident, the school said. Police told the university that there was no threat to the community and that the campus was safe and secure.

The University issued an updated community notification to students and staff at 1:30 p.m. which stated the campus would close early at 2 p.m. The campus has been restricted to USJ community members only. Residential students were advised to remain on campus indoors until further notice. 

A woman who lived across from the University shared her concern. 

"It's really sad and nerve-wracking and for me, it's a little nerve-wracking. It happened in West Hartford and at a college," said Pam Perry of West Hartford. 

Police say this remains an ongoing investigation. Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call the West Hartford Police Department at (860) 523-5203, or use the WHPD Tip Line/email at (860) 570-8969 / whpdtips@westhartfordct.gov

This is a developing story.  


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

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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