BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Just as the city faces a frightening spree of shootings, with five fatalities in five days, the Bridgeport Police Department added to its ranks with the swearing in of 24 new officers on Thursday evening.
The increased police manpower is exactly what Mayor Joe Ganim and Police Chief AJ Perez promised residents at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
They held the press conference after a spate of recent violence, including three shooting deaths over the weekend, a murder-suicide on Wednesday evening, a teen grazed by a bullet while asleep in a home and shots being fired in Ganim's "vicinity" as he visited the mother of one of the homicide victims, the Connecticut Post reported.
The city has 52 new officers since Perez become police chief, with an additional 29 more in the police academy, according to the Connecticut Post.
Perez and Ganim said the city can now increase patrols throughout the city, with a focus on the areas where the shootings have occurred, the Post said.
Just hours after the press conference, a man was shot in the leg inside a home on Bradley Street, the Post said.
And earlier Thursday, Ganim was rushed out of a home on Trumbull Avenue after shots were fired in the vicinity from a passing car, the Post said. He was offering his condolences to the mother of a homicide victim and was not the target of the shooting, the Post said.
Other violent incidents have occurred in the past week in Bridgeport.
On Wednesday, Keith Knox, 32, shot and killed his wife, Jennifer Knox, 33, before turning the gun on himself inside their home at the Trumbull Gardens housing complex, police said.
Early Wednesday, an 18-year-old Bridgeport woman suffered a graze wound to her head when bullets were fired into a Lakeside Drive home and she was hit while sleeping, City of Bridgeport spokeswoman Rowena White said. She was hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds.
At 2 a.m. Sunday, Ronald Simmons, 44, was shot to death on State Street during a dispute with a neighbor, police said.
Reginald May, also 44, was shot to death two hours later on Alice Street in an unrelated incident, police said.
At 3 a.m. Saturday, Chaz Rogers, 37, was found with gunshot wounds on Stratford Avenue. He died later of his injuries, including at least one gunshot to the head, police said.
Also Saturday, the body of a man was recovered from the water near the dock for the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry, police said. That death also remains under police investigation.
There have been 17 homicides in Bridgeport so far this year.
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