Suspect Charged in Shooting Death of Three-Year-Old Connecticut Boy

A 19-year-old suspect was charged with murder on Monday in connection with the shooting death of a three-year-old boy in Connecticut.

“Hartford police said they arrested city resident Jaziah Smith for the killing of Randell Jones in a drive-by shooting on April 10. It wasn’t clear if Smith has a lawyer who could respond to the allegations,” the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Officers said the child was inside a parked vehicle with his mother, additional relatives, and a male passenger when another car pulled up next to them and a person opened fire.

“Authorities said the man in the car with Randell was the intended target. Randell’s mother drove him to a hospital, where he died, officials said. No one else was shot,” the report stated.

According to Fox 61, another shooting occurred while officers investigated the initial incident.

“Ja’Mari Preston, a 16-year-old from New Britain was also shot and killed behind a home on Magnolia Street that day, just hours after Jones was shot and only several streets away,” the outlet stated.

Officers said as the investigation progressed they believed the shooting incidents were related.

“After a week-long investigation, police said detectives assigned to the Major Crimes Division were able to identify the shooter in Jones’ homicide and applied for an arrest warrant,” the report continued, adding authorities took Smith into custody without incident on Monday.

A judge set his bond at $1.75 million.

Court records reportedly showed Smith was charged in 2020 for allegedly carrying a pistol without a permit and trespassing. He later posted a $75,000 bail and the case is pending, the AP article read.

The investigation into both shootings is ongoing and Hartford police have asked citizens with additional information to contact the department.

“Our whole city’s heart breaks for the families of this little boy and this young man. These are crimes that wound our entire community.” Mayor Luke Bronin said at a press conference following the shootings. “I am heartbroken and I am angry.”

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