Man shot, police search for suspect in New London

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New London — Police have released the name and photo of the New London man wanted in connection with a shooting on Saturday that left a victim with life-threatening injuries.

Christopher Whitley, 32, is possibly armed and considered dangerous. Police are asking that anyone with information about his whereabouts to call police at (860) 447-5269, ext. 0. Anonymous information may be submitted by texting NLPDTip, plus the information, to Tip411 (847411).

Police said Whitley was developed as a suspect following the shooting on Walden Avenue.

At 11:34 a.m., police responded to 33 Walden Ave. for a report of a person shot. The semiconscious victim was found on the sidewalk. Police said the victim was shot at least twice, sustaining injuries to his torso and leg. Taken by ambulance to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, he later was flown to Yale New Haven Hospital for treatment. His name and condition was not immediately available.

Whitley, when he was arrested on a host of drug possession charges in April 2018, listed his address at 33 Walden Ave.

Photo of Christopher Whitley
Christopher Whitley

Multiple law enforcement vehicles were seen in the streets surrounding Walden Avenue following the shooting. Some of those streets were temporarily closed to traffic.

About noon, a woman out walking in the area of West Pleasant and Colver streets, said she saw armed police walking through backyards and two K-9 teams. “There were cops on every corner,” the woman, who asked not to be identified, said.

Numerous New London police and officers from multiple neighboring departments are in New London for the annual Sailfest celebration. The shooting and search for the suspect took place well away from the thousands of people gathered downtown for the weekend’s festivities.

By 12:20 p.m. police armed with assault rifles swarmed a multifamily home at 207 Jefferson Ave. Police could be seen carrying shields and a battering ram inside the home. Second-floor resident Kervens Joseph, along with his mother and younger brother, were evacuated by police and told to wait at the nearby laundromat.

Joseph said he was playing on his phone when police came knocking and he had no idea why they were there. “They just told us they were looking for somebody,” he said. “I’m not sure what is going on.”

Police inside on the third floor could be heard yelling “open the door.”

New London police Chief Peter Reichard, armed with an assault rifle, emerged from the home with other officers without a suspect in custody. Reichard said a K-9 team had tracked the suspect through backyards to the Jefferson Avenue location but no one was found inside.

Several blocks away on Walden Avenue, Henry Rodriguez walked his dog while watching police search the ground in a cordoned off area where the shooting took place.

“I moved from Brooklyn to get away from this crap,” Rodriguez told another onlooker.

Police said they have an active felony warrant for Whitley unrelated to the shooting. Court records show a rearrest was ordered in association with his pending drug possession case.

Police said the investigation remains active.

g.smith@theday.com

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