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Friends and family remember New Haven homicide victim

The shooting happened on Poplar Street near the Lombard Fire Station

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A man is dead after a shooting in New Haven on Poplar Street in the Fair Haven section of the city.

Police said the victim, 45-year-old Luis Fernando Gonzalez-Sandoz, was found dead on the scene around 11:30 p.m. Monday. 

Neighbors were left shocked by the shooting.

“It affects everybody around here. People are like saying, ‘Wow, look at this! Again?’” said Pedro Medina, who lives in the area.

“That guy I see as a good man. He’s working on the other corner in Ferry in the barbershop,” said Ana Diaz, another neighbor.

Monday’s homicide marks the 21st of the year in New Haven. In 2020, the city ended the year with 20 homicides.

“Our numbers, I believe, have already surpassed last year in total guns seized and arrests made,” said Officer Scott Shumway with the New Haven Police Department.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker commented on the violence the city has faced this year while speaking with reporters Tuesday morning.

"We can’t bring these community members, these individuals back, and this is something that will impact us for many years to come,” said Elicker.

Retired police sergeant and candidate for the board of alders Shafiq Abdussabur is calling on Gov. Ned Lamont to declare a state of emergency in response to gun violence in the city.

"I need you to come down here and help us come up with a social and create a plan for violence," Abdussabur said.

The community is frustrated, according to Abdussabur.

"They're in trauma, they're under siege, they are dying, they are grieving," he added.

Police have not released any information yet about potential suspects or what led up to the shooting.

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A reminder of this year’s violence is on full display at the corner of the investigation scene on Poplar Street and Lombard Street, where a memorial sits dedicated to another homicide victim, a Bridgeport man, shot and killed last month.

“What is going on? We’re ready to move out of this place because too many things are happening around this area,” said Medina.

City leaders said they are taking a multi-pronged approach to curb violence. That includes more street outreach workers, more support services for the re-entry population, the reformation of the shooting task force, and a focus on gun arrests.

RELATED: New Haven police investigating homicide of Northford man

“Overwhelmingly, New Haven is a safe place," said Elicker. "Most of these incidents are incidents where people know each other and are looking for each other."

Last Tuesday, Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber, the leader of the Greater New Haven Clergy Association, along with Elicker, put aside their differences to help concentrate on the greater issue of violence in New Haven.

Kimber said in some instances, parenting needs to improve and that the killing must stop. He’s asking for help not just from the police or the mayor's office to discourage those committing these crimes.

Elicker said last Tuesday that every city department has public safety as their highest priority, and the police are now spearheading various increased measures, including expanding cameras, youth outreach, and street outreach.

RELATED: Bond set at $2M for suspect in 2019 homicide of Troy Clark, shooting of New Haven police captain

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