WALLINGFORD — The warrant for a second man charged in the 2016 double homicide at the Oakdale Theatre reveals police used a cooperating witness equipped with audio and video recording devices during the investigation.
Tivon Edwards, 33, of 154 Sheffield St., New Haven was charged on July 16 with two counts of first-degree manslaughter with a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit. His arrest warrant was unsealed this week.
Two New Haven men, Travis Ward, 31, and Jacquan Graves, 20, were killed in the shooting outside the South Turnpike Road concert venue on Dec. 30, 2016 following a performance by rap artist Meek Mill.
Ward was killed by a single gunshot wound to his upper chest. Graves was shot at least six times, including three times in the neck. Two others were injured.
The shooting stemmed from a dispute between two groups inside the concert, according to police spokeswoman Lt. Cheryl Bradley.
Police interviewed witnesses and obtained a partial license plate for a blue BMW involved in the shooting. Police found eight BMWs registered in the state that matched the information, and checked the registered owners against a ticket sale list for the concert.
Police discovered Kyle Hampton, 23, purchased four tickets and was the only one listed as having a blue BMW with the partial plate match, according to Hampton’s arrest warrant. Police spoke with witnesses and members of each group and identified Edwards as being at the show and with Hampton at the time of the shooting.
Hampton, of 20 Half Mile Road, North Haven, was taken into custody on July 13 and charged with two counts of first-degree manslaughter with a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.
On March 7, 2017 a “controlled” meeting was set up by authorities between Edwards and a cooperating witness, who was equipped with audio and video recording devices, according to a warrant for Edwards’ arrest.
Edwards got into the passenger seat of a car driven by the witness, the warrant said. When asked what the “beef” was about in regard to the shooting, Edwards said “it was something in the moment and that those on the other side of the dispute were ‘wilding out.’”
On the night of the shooting, Edwards said he was sitting in the car and saw Graves arguing with Hampton, the warrant said. Edwards said Graves approached Hampton acting like he had a gun, and he and Hampton reportedly shot him. Edwards said another person got involved and fired back, so Edwards and Hampton returned fire, the warrant said.
During an interview with police on Nov. 22, 2017, Hampton said when he saw Graves walking toward his car with a gun drawn, he got a gun out of his car and shot him.
Authorities recovered 18 shell casings, six bullets, and a revolver while investigating at the scene in the Oakdale parking lot.
Edwards and Hampton were arraigned in Meriden Superior Court earlier this month. A judge set bond at $1 million for each man. Both cases were transferred to New Haven Superior Court. Edwards is due to appear in court again on Aug. 20 and Hampton is scheduled to appear on July 31.
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