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Norwich — Neighbors expressed shock over the identity of the 28-year-old man found dead in a Bozrah field Tuesday morning, who they said worked two jobs, was quiet and "seemed so innocent."
Attempts to reach relatives of Darius Bishop were unsuccessful Thursday, but Denise Dailey, a neighbor of Bishop's at the multi-family residence where he lived at 27 Greene Ave., said the shooting victim was "a very sweet boy" who looked younger than his 28 years.
"It was very shocking," Dailey said of the news. "I could never imagine Darius near a gun or someone carrying a gun."
Bishop was found dead in the Ray Hayward Memorial Field on Route 163 in Bozrah, a town just west of Norwich, around 7:15 Tuesday morning. The state medical examiner on Thursday declared the death a homicide as a result of a gunshot wound.
Police have not pinpointed Bishop's time of death but have asked anyone with information about his whereabouts between 9 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday to come forward.
Dailey said Bishop worked two jobs: delivering food during the day and working in distribution for a furniture outlet at night. Though the two did not know each other well in the year or so Bishop lived at 27 Greene Ave., Dailey said they spoke a few times about Bishop's childhood years as a Jehovah's Witness.
"It was in his heart, he grew up that way," Dailey said. "He had gone to a few meetings recently."
Bishop never had company and was very quiet, Dailey said. They'd cross paths between the apartment and parking lot, but Dailey said she never spoke much to Bishop, who was well-built, tall and had "beautiful dimples."
The five-apartment, multi-family home sits about halfway down Greene Avenue, a steep road that overlooks a grassy field and basketball court alongside Washington Street. A neighbor who declined to give her name said that residents there "keep to themselves."
Unopened mail addressed to Bishop was nearly overflowing in his mailbox, and no one answered a knock on his apartment door.
Dailey said she first knew there was trouble when detectives knocked on her door Tuesday afternoon asking after Bishop because of "something that concerned him."
"I was thinking a car accident or something," Dailey said. "I had no idea."
State police said the criminal investigation is ongoing and that they are following significant leads in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to call state police at (860) 537-7500. All calls will be kept confidential.
Staff Writer Izaskun E. Larrañeta contributed to this story.