NEW HAVEN -- August 12, 2019 will be a day New Haven Police Captain Anthony Duff will not soon forget.
Just prior to 9:30 Monday night, Duff, who was off duty, radioed that trouble was brewing.
"Dixwell and Henry, signal 49 in progress, black male dressed in all black, give me some units," said New Haven Police Captain Anthony Duff.
Signal 49 meaning a shooting in progress.
Sources said Duff either stumbled upon the shooting in progress or was tipped off by a Shot Spotter notification and responded because he was in the area.
Interim Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said Duff chased the suspect of that shooting, near Henry and Dixwell, on foot. But, the suspect turned and fired on Duff, who was struck with multiple gunshots.
But, Duff still had the presence to radio for help after he was shot.
"Officer down, officer down, signal 4, Dixwell and Townsend, signal 4, officer down," Duff said on his radio with a purpose
"He came across an act of violence in progress and he didn’t hesitate," said Chief Reyes. "He tried to save someone’s life and it almost cost him his own life. "
The suspect remains at large as of early Tuesday evening.
“We are standing here today as one community, to say that we will not tolerate gun violence in our city,” said Chief Reyes in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “Yesterday we lost a young man from this community to violence right on this street. He was murdered by someone, and that someone almost murdered a police officer as well.”
“I just want to reiterate that we are standing here with this community as one, to say that we will not tolerate gun violence. And I stand here with men and women of this department to say to the individual who shot and murdered a community member on the street, and the individual that almost murdered a police officer, that we are going to extend every resource available to us, to bring you to justice,” Reyes added.
Duff was found leaning against the front steps of an apartment at 127 Henry St. According to a woman, who asked that FOX61 conceal her identity, it was like she was watching a movie.
"I was walking, coming out of the store last night, and we heard two shots," the woman said.
At first, she thought it might’ve been firecrackers
"Then, I continued to walk and you heard maybe like five or six more and then another three or four more and you heard the suspect say 'that’s what you get' and took off running down the road."
Duff came through surgery well and was resting comfortably Tuesday, according to Reyes, who says Duff has been special to him.
"When I came on the job, he helped train me," Reyes said. "We went on calls together. He and I were involved in an officer involved shooting together. So, we saw each other through that. He’s been involved with countless acts of heroism in this department. He’s just, he is a hero. He’s what we call on the job a cop."
“I know I share with all New Haven residents the sincere desire for his continuing and thorough recovery. I know I share with all residents profound gratitude for his dedicated and long-standing service to this city,” said New Haven Mayor Tony Harp.
And, you can now call Duff a grandfather.
On the same day he was nearly shot to death, his first grandchild was born.