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Man Shot, Killed Outside Tavern

Norwich - Tynel Hardwick was having a few drinks Friday night, eating chips and playing touch-screen video games at Rumors Bar & Grill.

Then, just before midnight, he and the woman he was with stepped outside to go wait for their ride.

That's when the shots rang out.

”He was with his girlfriend, and she came running in saying he got shot and to call 9-1-1,” said Marlene Ward, a manager at Rumors who was working at the Boswell Avenue bar when Hardwick was shot to death. Ward said she shut the side door and wouldn't let anyone go outside until the police came. “It happened so quickly.”

Police responded to the bar about 11:45 p.m. and found Hardwick lying on the sidewalk. He was transported to The William W. Backus Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police said Saturday night that there had been no arrests in the case.

Ward said Hardwick was respectful when he came into the bar, which was about once every other week for a few drinks and some food. She said he never caused trouble.

Hardwick, 29, had moved to Taftville within the past year from Hartford, friends and neighbors said. They described him as laid back and friendly and said he told people he met to call him “Bleu.”

”He always called to see if we wanted to go and have a drink,” said Christina Coombs, 25, a neighbor of Hardwick's. “He seemed like a really good guy, very friendly. It's terrible.”

Coombs lives across the street from Hardwick's home, a two-story yellow duplex on South A St. She said he lived there with his wife or girlfriend and three young children.

Coombs said about a week ago she and her boyfriend had Hardwick over to visit. She said there wasn't any consistent trouble at the home and that she couldn't believe he was killed. “It's crazy,” she said.

Hardwick had an extensive criminal record in the state dating back to 1997, including first-degree larceny, carrying a dangerous weapon and burglary.

But those who knew Hardwick said he was a relaxed and enjoyable person.

”He was very respectful and down to earth,” said Krystel Ross, 27, with tears running down her cheeks. “He would come in and give you a hug and a kiss on the cheek and just sit and relax.”

Outside the bar, she made a small memorial for Hardwick - two lit candles and a small vase with three red roses.

Police said Hardwick's death is the first homicide in the city since 2006 when 19-year-old Sean Hill was also shot to death.

City officials have recently been discussing how to make downtown safer after a brawl between 10 men resulted in one of them being stabbed. Police have made some arrests after the Sept. 11 brawl outside the Wauregan complex at 25 Broadway, and the man who was stabbed was treated and released from the hospital.

Hardwick's neighbors said they don't go downtown because of the possibility of violence. “Norwich is just getting worse and worse and worse,” Coombs said. “Lookwise it's gotten better, but not crimewise.”

However, Ward, who also lives on Baltic Street, said the area has improved.

”This neighborhood's come a long way,” said Ward, who has worked at the bar about six years. “I've watched a lot of houses be remodeled and redone. It's a shame.”

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call the Norwich Police Department at 886-5561, or the anonymous tip line at 886-5561, ext. 500.

Day Staff Writers Kira Goldenberg And Izaskun E. Larraneta Contributed To This Report.


Article UID=60a1119e-f072-45e4-8d42-4d4fb1455e91

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