MERIDEN — Police gave an update this week about recent gun violence in the city, including nine arrests and firearms seized.
Since June 19, there have been around 28 reports of gunfire. At least seven people were injured and 10 homes were struck. In addition there have been two men killed in shootings, one on June 21 at the Comfort Inn and one on Aug. 19 at Crown and Olive streets.
On Wednesday a city woman was arrested and charged with hindering prosecution in connection with a homicide at the Comfort Inn on June 21, Police Chief Roberto Rosado told members of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.
Police are looking for Trevor Outlaw, 33, for questioning in that homicide. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Sammy Richard Ortiz was struck by a vehicle then shot on Aug. 19 near the intersection of Crown and Olive streets, police said. The investigation is ongoing.
“There is a definite uptick in gang activity, and that is showing itself in the form of gunfire,” Sgt. Darrin McKay said. “Over the last couple weeks we have made good arrests. But unfortunately it takes a lot of time for information to develop.”
McKay said gun violence incidents are up about 64% from last year as of Aug. 21. Between Jan. 1, 2019 and Aug. 21, 2019 there were 69 “shots fired” incidents reported, with 28 of those incidents requiring a written report, McKay said. The incidents that required a written report are likely confirmed incidents either due to a victim, evidence found or damage done by a bullet, McKay said.
Between Jan. 1, 2020 and Aug. 21, 2020 there were 120 “shots fired” calls reported, with 77 requiring a written report, McKay said. He said the increase is mostly due to gang and drug related activity.
Rosado spoke about the gun violence and the progress the police department has made during the virtual public safety committee meeting Wednesday night. Speaking about the recent arrest of three men at a home on Round Hill Road, Rosado commended officers for their work.
“That was a hairy situation that could have turned bad,”Rosado said, noting multiple firearms and ammunition were found by police. “The officers involved did an excellent job... They did a great job in executing that search warrant.”
Rosado spoke about nine recent arrests and firearms that have been seized by officers. He said his department has been working with other local departments and members of the FBI to conduct surveillance as recently as Wednesday.
Rosado said police have been getting support from the community at large in the form of information and video footage.