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One dead, one wounded in Norwich shooting

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Norwich — Police continued Monday to investigate a shooting inside a Norwich home that left one man dead and another wounded Sunday night.

A section of School Street — a steep sloping hill covered with patches of thick ice — was still cordoned off by bright yellow crime scene tape Monday evening as Norwich police and Connecticut State Police vehicles lined the street.

Law enforcement officials and staff from the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were seen going in and out of a tan and white multi-family home at 40 School St. Throughout the day, investigators wearing face masks and white hazmat suits filtered in and out of the front door of the home's first floor, where a Christmas wreath still hung.

Police responded to the School Street area shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday after receiving reports of a disturbance. When they arrived, officers found two men who had been shot during an altercation inside, according to Norwich police.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The other, who suffered one gunshot wound, was taken to the Backus Hospital in Norwich where his condition had stabilized as of about 3 p.m. Monday, police said. Earlier Monday, he had been in critical condition according to Norwich police Detective Richard Cannata.

Police did not say where each man was shot.

At least one of the men lived in the home, according to police, who had not yet released the victims' names or ages, pending the notification of their families.

The house appeared to have at least three floors with an outdoor wooden staircase leading to the second floor. A bicycle and a washing machine were outside near the front door and a brown wooden fence lined most of the yard.

Cannata said police were still investigating the shooting, talking to witnesses and hoping to speak to the surviving victim. Police did not say whether anyone else was involved in the shooting.

Lucas Umpierre and Laura Gonzalez, who live nearby on School Street, said they didn't hear gunshots, but heard sirens and saw flashing lights when police arrived on the scene about 9:09 p.m. Sunday.

The couple said they had to keep their children - ages 13 and 14, who both have special needs - home from school on Monday because their school buses couldn't get to their house while the crime scene was blocked off. Since the kids were home, Umpierre had to miss a day of work to help care for them.

"I pray to God they open the road so that they can get to school tomorrow. They need to go to school and he needs to go to work," said Gonzalez.

The couple said that the neighborhood has gotten increasingly dangerous in the past two years and that they've been worried about their family's safety.

"This is scary," said Umpierre. "This has never happened right here like this. This street is hard, but never like this."

Gonzalez said she hopes the City of Norwich and the Norwich Police Department will do more to monitor crime on their street and she wishes there were more security cameras. She said she worries about her children, a son and a daughter who are both on the autism spectrum, being exposed to drugs and violence.

"We need to have a more positive environment for our kids, especially our kids with special needs," she said. "They need to put cameras all over Norwich. The town needs to do something."





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