It turned out the weapons were paintball guns, not AK-47s. The incident was hazardous enough for the people involved.
The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m.
Police received “numerous” calls about a pair of people shooting paintballs “at people and cars,” according to a police incident report.
Officers Brendan Cain and Shane Wityak responded, along with Officer Kyle Listro and Detective Frank Sanchez. They came across the pair with the paintball guns at Howard Avenue and Putnam Street. The pair started firing at their car.
Cain and Wityak got out and chased the suspects. While running, the men fired at the officers, according to the police. Cain was hit three times by the forceful shots.
The officers did catch the suspects and arrest them. They confiscated the paintball guns as well.
Police Chief Otoniel Reyes described the incident as “harrowing” for the public and for the officers.
Some people might not realize how dangerous these kinds of paintball guns are, he said. A paintball blast can break a window or hit someone while driving. They hit pedestrians. The officers could have been hit in the face and lost an eye, or sustained serious head injuries.
Fortunately, Cain was hit in the leg and his bulletproof vest rather than in a more vulnerable spot.
“These individuals had no respect for human life, no respect for the law, and no respect for law enforcement officers,” Reyes said. “Their reckless and brazen actions could have led to tragic outcomes.
“Those are very sophisticated competitive-style guns that can cause significant injury to pedestrians with no protective equipment.”
Reyes commended the officers for their “swift actions” and “restraint in handling this dangerous situation, which could have otherwise ended tragically.” He thanked the public for immediately alerting the police to the situation.
The arrestees, who are 20 and 23, were charged with offenses ranging from assault on a police officer to reckless endangerment and carrying a dangerous weapon.
Over on the west side of town, top Westville/ West Hills/ West Rock cop Lt. Elliot Rosa reported to neighbors Monday that his officers have seen an “uptick in paintball incidents” and recovered the pictured paintball guns.
posted by: CityYankee on October 5, 2020 10:48am
Let’s post the names of these reckless youth with too much time on their hands
posted by: Hartman13 on October 5, 2020 11:37am
How easily could that gun be mistaken for the real deal. I’d hate to think of what New Haven would be like following news reports titled, “Cops Gun Down Young Men With Toy Guns”.
Great job Officers! You should be proud of yourselves.
If Airsoft and paintball guns are used in the manner of a “true” weapon, the courts should impose “true” sentences with no distinctions between the two.
I’m with CityYankee on this. There’s a difference between a “suspect” and a “perpetrator”. If these guys were caught with the guns (which sounds like the case here), name them and post their photos.
posted by: Scriptus on October 5, 2020 11:39am
There was an incident someone posted on Nextdoor where her car was shot up on Kimberley Ave. I wonder if it was the people. These people need a jail sentence for this—it’s reckless, selfish, and the latest example of this city becoming scarier in recent months.
posted by: ethanjrt on October 5, 2020 12:50pm
I was expecting to see that these were 15-year-old kids but… nope. Damn. How dumb can you be?
posted by: Heather C. on October 5, 2020 1:56pm
If I was the parents of these two young men I would read them the riot act! This wasn’t a video game or a paintball course with protective personal equipment being worn and consenting adults who they were shooting at. They could have seriously injured someone, and they have damaged property. They could have been shot and killed by the police, who would have been legitimately scared for their lives if they weren’t made aware ahead of time that these were paintball guns and not real guns. The manufacturers who make these toys look like real guns should be ashamed of themselves too. It should be against the law to make realistic looking toy guns of any kind, and it should be made impossible to alter the toys in any way to look realistic. These young men need someone to make clear to them the dire consequences of their actions. If anybody ever needed proof that the brain is underdeveloped in impulse control before the age of 25, this is it.
posted by: watchfuleye on October 5, 2020 1:56pm
This is the reason defunding the police is NOT an option to me. Police accountability yes they should not be above the law.. Now look at this situation there was no reason to be terrorizing a neighborhood with semi automatic look a like guns and then shooting at the police with them. what if the police officer shot one these young men and killed them. This what makes me outrage the countless protest that go on for change and these fools go and do this. Its only going to get worst if we continue to say defund police. I want safe streets for all including police and accountability for all!
posted by: Clarity on October 5, 2020 3:53pm
I don’t want to hear the nonsense about the brain not developing until the age of 25… stop! These two knuckleheads are 20 and 23 years old! They can vote for the President of the US… they are ADULTs! They know right from wrong, or should. This was reckless and criminal behavior. Shooting at moving vehicles?! Shooting at cops?! My son is 8 years old and his brain is sufficiently developed to know better. We are making a huge mistake if we continue justifying bad behavior. Let’s hold ourselves accountable and stop blaming everything on the police or anyone else. Look what has happened to our teachers; teachers were revered once by our society and seen as authority figures. Now, we allow our youth to disrespect them and Lord forbid the teacher says or does something to correct a student! We have become a society that is indignant to accountability, structure and respect. This incident is wrong, period! We demand police accountability, so let’s hold ourselves accountable too.
posted by: Dennis Serf on October 5, 2020 6:06pm
When you allow dirt bikes to takeover city streets, open drug sales and prostitution in Fair Haven, no traffic enforcement citywide, and crowds to openly party/loiter in public squares and parks, don’t be surprised by this type of activity. This is the logical progression when you wave the white flag. And don’t blame the police who are handcuffed by the politically-correct politicians.
posted by: ElmCityAle on October 5, 2020 7:40pm
Great work by the police, who would have IMO been justified in using deadly force in response to the attack on them. Having been the victim of a drive-by Airsoft attack in the city years ago, I can tell you those projectiles can really hurt if they hit a sensitive area. I hope the justice system doesn’t let the criminals involved off easily.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .