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Police: Two Took Part in South Norwalk Shootout

NORWALK, Conn. – The gunfire reported in South Norwalk on Saturday came from two men running down the street shooting at each other, Norwalk police said.

Police responded to calls of shots fired in the area of 24 Woodward Ave. at 4:02 p.m., according to the incident log. Sgt. Lisa Cotto said police received a report of two black males fighting, and it was believed they had guns.

Police stopped one person, who was on a bicycle, interviewed him and let him go. A witness said the fight started in front of 47 Woodward. Police found bullets in the road and a bullet in a vehicle.

A witness said the men were running down Woodward Avenue.

"This was one of the most horrendous shootings we've ever encountered on the street," said Rick Reardon, a seven-year resident of Quintard Avenue, which is parallel to Woodward, two blocks over. He estimated 20 shots were fired.

Reardon listens to a scanner continuously. He reported that the third round of shots prompted many calls to police. There was no scanner activity before then.

"The first three shots that rang out, no one picked up the phone, no one called," he said. "When the 17 shots came after that, that's when all hell broke loose. ... People were actually calling in as these gunshots were ringing out down the street."

Reardon said he hopped into his van and drove there, parking on a sidewalk. He watched police arrive; some officers came on bicycle. Police were looking in storm drains for discarded guns. Casings were found 10 to 15 feet from bedroom windows.

Reardon said he was shocked at the heavy gunfire on a sunny afternoon. "The first shots fired, I knew it was gunfire, but I said to myself, not a frigging way this is going to happen right now," he said. "The whole neighborhood was packed with people. This was not a good time to have a gunfight like that. People were at the Laundromat doing their laundry; people were at the liquor store buying single cigarettes. You've got the Chinese restaurant. ... The place was loaded with people; you've got people playing checkers on the porch. These people, the people in the neighborhood saw this, this was not something that happened in a dark alleyway at night, where kids knew they were going to get away with it."

Residents suspected someone had been hit, but police say they notified area hospitals but no shotgun victims were reported.

Reardon has visited crime scenes previously in South Norwalk, after shots have been reported. "You go down there, everybody has a party atmosphere," he said. "That's what it turns into, people are laughing and everybody's all laughing. Today there wasn't a party atmosphere. People were really gritting their teeth, nobody was laughing. It did something to people that I hadn't seen before."

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