New London shooting victim attends alleged shooter's court appearance

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A 33-year-old man who lost several organs after being shot on Walden Avenue in New London on July 13 was in New London Superior Court Monday when his accused shooter was presented before a judge. 

The victim, Larry Brinkley, used a walker to access the courtroom and sat with relatives as Christopher J. Whitley was led before Judge Hillary B. Strackbein for his first appearance in the court where major crimes are tried.

Whitley, 32, whose last known address was 207 Jefferson Ave., New London, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, illegally shooting a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal use of a weapon and first-degree endangerment. He asked for more time to hire an attorney, and the judge continued the case to Sept. 30.

Whitley was arrested in West Haven on Aug. 1 and is being held in lieu of $1,051,500 at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution. He faces additional drug and motor vehicle charges stemming from an April 2019 arrest.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit written by New London police Detective Ryan Griffin, Brinkley was dating the mother of Whitley's daughter, and Whitley was upset with the child's mother and Brinkley's role in the child's life.

Witnesses told police the child and mother were nearby when Whitley pulled a handgun out of his jean jacket vest and fired two rounds at the man outside of 33 Walden Ave.

Whitley ran from the scene through neighbors' backyards, saying "Sorry folks, but I have to go," witnesses said.

Brinkley, who was bleeding heavily and being tended to by a bystander when first responders arrived, thought he was dying, according to the affidavit. He was flown by Life Star helicopter to Yale New Haven Hospital for emergency surgery.

An attending physician told detectives that Brinkley had injuries to multiple internal organs, including his bowel, and that his left kidney, gall bladder, spleen and part of his pancreas were removed. He suffered an injury to his diaphragm and fractured femur and had a "palpable protrusion" in his chest from a projectile that is next expected to be removed.

During the investigation, detectives recovered video surveillance from several addresses on nearby Jefferson Avenue.

During a hospital interview, the victim identified Whitley as the shooter and said prior to the shooting, he had a conversation with Whitley outside the Ravi convenience store on Broad Street. Whitley was claiming Brinkley's girlfriend had "snitched" on Whitley about something, but Brinkley said he was only interested in speaking with Whitley about the way he was caring for his daughter.

Whitley had prior weapons, assault and narcotics convictions, according to court records.

k.florin@theday.com

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