Police investigate shooting death of 29-year-old New London man

New London police officers search the intersection of Grand Street and Connecticut Avenue for shell casings, following a shooting in front of 8 Grand St. at 10:56 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. A 29-year-old man subsequently died early Friday morning of his injuries.
(Steven Frischling/Special to The Day)
New London police officers search the intersection of Grand Street and Connecticut Avenue for shell casings, following a shooting in front of 8 Grand St. at 10:56 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. A 29-year-old man subsequently died early Friday morning of his injuries. (Steven Frischling/Special to The Day)

            “Gilberto
Gilberto Olivencia     Photo provided by Olivencia’s cousin, Henry Badillo.     

Editor's note: This version corrects some details in an earlier version of this article.

New London — A 29-year-old New London man who was the father of young children died early Friday morning after he was shot late Thursday night on Grand Street.

Police said shortly before 11 p.m. they responded to Connecticut Avenue near Grand Street after receiving several reports that gunshots had been fired in the area. 

Police found Gilberto Olivencia on the front porch of 8 Grand St. with injuries consistent with a gunshot wound. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Friday said Olivencia died of a gunshot wound to his chest and ruled his death a homicide.

Police had concluded their work at the scene as of 11:45 a.m. and reopened Grand Street. Earlier, police could be seen bending over and examining at least a half-dozen shell casings that were on the corner of Grant Street and Connecticut Avenue.

Olivencia, whose last known address was on West Pleasant Street, was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:43 a.m.

Henry Badillo, Olivencia's cousin, visited the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Prest Street Friday to determine whether he could set up a memorial.

Badillo said hours before the shooting Olivencia was at his sister's house on Connecticut Avenue. He said Olivencia was drinking but was not drunk.

Badillo said Olivencia's girlfriend and his sister told him that Olivencia was confronted at the Connecticut Avenue house by the ex-boyfriend of the mother of one of his children.

They exchanged words, but Olivencia left. Badillo said they apparently met up shortly before the shooting in the area of Badillo's cousin's house on Grand Street, where Olivencia was found shot.

Badillo said the men had fought years ago, but that to the best of his knowledge they haven't had any recent contact.

"It just doesn't make sense," said Badillo. "My family is still in shock."

Badillo said he and his relatives went to L+M to see Olivencia, but police would only let Olivencia's mother and sister see him.

He said Olivencia went by the nickname "Bebe," or baby, because he had a youthful-looking face.

"He was real mellow," Badillo said. "He liked to dress real nice. He was a pretty boy." 

After police cleared the crime scene, Olivencia's relatives gathered on Grand Street and placed two candles at a makeshift memorial.

Blood and medical gloves were visible on the porch of 8 Grand St. 

Neighbors said the area has been plagued with crime. Not too far from Thursday's shooting another 29-year-old man was shot and killed. Jesus "Gee" Pinero was shot and killed on Aug. 29, 2013, near Connecticut Avenue and Prest Street. A memorial, a single rose in a vase with the name Gee scrawled on the pavement, still remains there.

Around the corner on Prest Street, 21-year-old Rahmel Perry was gunned down during the early hours of March 3, 2010.

Jose Perez, who lives in a home at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Prest Street, said he heard five or six gunshots Thursday night. He said he went outside and walked to Grand Street because he has family that live on that street.

"I saw him on the front porch," said Perez. "It must have just happened because I still saw smoke coming out of his chest. Police got there quickly and then they closed the area."

Anissa Henderson, who lives on Prest Street, said she heard five shots. When she walked toward Connecticut Avenue, she saw medical personnel placing Olivencia inside an ambulance.

"They were real quiet, and that made me real worried. ... I knew it was serious," Henderson said. "It's just a shame. This will dampen the holidays. My prayers go out to the family." 

Olivencia's death marks the city's third homicide this year.

David McKeever, 47, was charged last month in the death of Delma Murphy, 46, who was found dead in an upstairs bedroom at 53 Cole St.

In March, 31-year-old Floyd S. Fooks was found with multiple gunshot wounds in his basement apartment at 37 Spring St. No one has been charged in his death.

Detectives from the State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad and inspectors from the New London County State Attorney's Office are also assisting with the investigation. 

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to phone police at (860) 447-1481. All calls will be kept confidential.

i.larraneta@theday.com

Twitter: @larraneta

A New London police officer patrols the intersection of Elm Street and Grand Street with a rifle, following a  shooting, in front of 8 Grand St. at 10:56 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. A 29-year-old man subsequently died early Friday morning of his injuries.
(Steven Frischling/Special to The Day)
A New London police officer patrols the intersection of Elm Street and Grand Street with a rifle, following a shooting, in front of 8 Grand St. at 10:56 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. A 29-year-old man subsequently died early Friday morning of his injuries. (Steven Frischling/Special to The Day)
A New London police officer begins a door-to-door canvas on Grand Street shortly after midnight, seeking information in connection to a shooting in front of 8 Grand St. that happened at 10:56 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. A 29-year-old man subsequently died early Friday morning of his injuries.
(Steven Frischling/Special to The Day)
A New London police officer begins a door-to-door canvas on Grand Street shortly after midnight, seeking information in connection to a shooting in front of 8 Grand St. that happened at 10:56 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. A 29-year-old man subsequently died early Friday morning of his injuries. (Steven Frischling/Special to The Day)

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