Crime-filled weekend leaves New London officials disappointed but determined
New London — It was a busy weekend for first responders who handled two shooting incidents and a stabbing in three days, leaving some wondering what’s going on in the city.
The first incident happened early Friday morning at 12 Home St., where 44-year-old George A. Taylor Jr. allegedly shot a woman in the buttocks. The woman’s injuries weren’t considered life threatening. Taylor is facing several charges in the case.
Next came a shooting on Saturday at 4 Orchard St., the circumstances of which remain unclear. Police so far have said only that they found a man inside an apartment there with a gunshot wound to the head. He later was pronounced dead.
The final crime happened at 39 Tilley St. Sunday night, when one man fatally stabbed another on the second floor steps. Police again made a quick arrest in the case, charging 44-year-old Patrick McInerney with murder.
Speaking by phone, police Capt. Brian Wright said the events do not appear to be connected. They likely weren’t premeditated, he said, but were “nonetheless terrible.”
Wright, noting how quickly police made it to the scenes of all three incidents, called on community members to remain positive.
“Please know your police are out there every day and evening exercising our utmost diligence,” he said. “We are there to serve and protect. We will always be.”
The department is expected to release more information on each case at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
Mayor Michael Passero, who issued a statement Monday on "unacceptable violence in our city," commended police for their quick work and pointed out that members of the general public weren't in danger in any of the cases. Still, he called the weekend “disappointing.”
Multiple city agencies, he said, have been working together to get services to the people who need them before tragedies like this happen. Members of the police and fire departments, emergency services, human services and the building department are among the players.
“We have been working very hard on quality-of-life issues,” Passero said. “It’s discouraging when we have a weekend like this, but we’re not going to give up.”
As part of the multidepartment initiative, he said, authorities have been monitoring buildings where they believe illicit or at least rowdy behavior is happening.
Among the locations is 39 Tilley St., Human Services Director Jeanne Milstein confirmed Monday.
The building that houses 37 and 39 Tilley is one of several properties owned by Daniel Hornstein, records show. It’s a three-story, multifamily home with more than nine bedrooms.
Hornstein also rents out space at 26 Prospect St., 96 Green St. and 40 Pearl St.
Records show Hornstein, who couldn’t be reached for this story, has kept his properties up to code for the most part in recent years. In cases where a door wasn’t shutting properly or a smoke alarm wasn’t functioning, he promptly rectified the situation when asked.
But code violations and disorderly tenants are two different subjects. And officials are left trying to balance landlords’ rights with the goal of fostering healthy neighborhoods.
“We’re living in a tight community — we’re practically living on top of each other,” Passero said. “We have to make sure we’re not creating the opportunity for this type of violence in a particular building.”
“What happened on Tilley … We’ve been watching what’s developing on that street and we’ve been trying to prevent it,” he continued. “Unfortunately, this happened before we could resolve the situation creating that climate.”
Passero said the city’s multiagency team met just last week but likely will meet again soon in light of this weekend’s crimes. He said he believes the team’s efforts already have made a difference, but it’s clear there’s more work to do.
Generally speaking, Passero said it’s unfortunate when problem properties butt up against successful buildings and respectable landlords.
“The Tilley Street incident will be deconstructed entirely so we can figure out what went wrong,” Passero said, “We will take whatever appropriate action we can. I want something good to come out of this tragedy.”
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