Four people were wounded Monday in a drive-by shooting outside a courthouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that was apparently related to the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man over the weekend, officials said.
Three suspects were collared within two hours of the 12:15 p.m. shooting after a short pursuit that was captured on live TV as they sped behind Mayor Joe Ganim while he addressed the media outside police headquarters, the Hartford Courant reported.
A fourth suspect was still being sought Monday afternoon, Police Chief Armando Perez said.
“The sirens you just heard, that was our police officers pursuing the vehicle that was involved in this whole act of violence … We do not tolerate anything like this in the city of Bridgeport,” Perez said.
“Tonight this city is going to be locked down and we are going to be protecting the good people who live in this city,” he added.
Two men suffered serious injuries and underwent surgery, while the two others suffered minor injuries, officials said.
Dave Simmons, a bail bondsman, said a car pulled up to another vehicle at the Golden Hill Courthouse and shots were fired. It appears that the shooting was targeted, officials said.
“It was crazy. It was insane,” said Simmons, the Connecticut Post reported.
The incident unfolded outside the court at 172 Golden Hill St., where someone in a car that pulled up alongside another vehicle opened fire on the four men inside. Three of the victims fled for cover in the courthouse, while the driver remained seated as the shooters sped off, police said.
A lawyer at the courthouse told the Courant that he saw at least two people getting out of the targeted car and collapsing on the courthouse steps.
Court marshals did a “phenomenal job” by locking down the courthouse and treating the wounded inside before cops arrived within a minute, Capt. Brian Fitzgerald said.
Police believe the incident was related to the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old at the Greene Homes public-housing complex on Sunday.
“We’re struggling with ongoing disputes between juvenile group members throughout the city who unfortunately are using gun violence right now to solve their problems,” Fitzgerald said.
Ganim said he had spoken with Gov. Ned Lamont and planned to request state troopers to help beef up police presence in certain parts of the city.
“I’ll be supportive of not just greater police presence in our city, but greater security, maybe funding for security through the General Assembly, for courthouses,” Ganim said.
“This is not something we take lightly … no homicide, no shooting is going to go unanswered by the Bridgeport Police Department,” he said.
The shooting comes nearly a year to the day of one of the most violent city rivalries erupted in a melee in the court’s lobby, where more than two dozen people — men and women — fought each other, leaving a marshal wounded and three people under arrest.