Hartford Police say they have charged a 17-year-old youthful offender and gang member in connection with the crowd shooting after the West Indian Day Parade on Aug. 9 that led to one death and the wounding of six others, including two young children.
Police did not identify the youth in their news release because of his age, but instead – and inexplicably – published the name in their arrest log. The youth, Michael Ledbetter of Hartford, is on probation, according to police, and is “known to be a member of the local West Hell street gang.”
The incident drew angry responses from community members and clergy who decried the shooters for their willingness to open fire on crowded Main Street near the corner of Cleveland Avenue despite the presence not only of children, but also of numerous police officers on the parade route.
Police said Ledbetter was taken into custody Wednesday near Bowles Park in Hartford’s north end after detectives with the HPD Major Crimes Division obtained an arrest warrant.
In another discrepancy between documents from the HPD, the arrest log says Ledbetter is charged with murder, while a news release says he is charged with attempted murder. But aside from any murder-related charge, the arrest log says Ledbetter faces other counts including carrying a pistol without a permit, unlawful discharge of a gun, aggravated assault in the first degree, and risk of injury to a minor.
He is being held on $2 million bond, police said.
Ezekiel Roberts, 21, was killed in the shooting and was believed to be the target. He was a distant relative of HPD Chief Daryl Roberts.
After the shooting started, at least one individual reportedly ran away from the incident while blindly firing a handgun behind himself into the crowd. It’s not clear whether Ledbetter is the youth described in that report.
Other victims of that shooting incident include:
-Zinia Jackson, 15 months, of Hartford, gunshot wound to lower extremity
-Tyreke Marquis, 7, of Hartford, gunshot wound to the head
-Tafari Jackson, 15, of Bloomfield, gunshot wound lower extremity
-John Gibson, 16, of Windsor, gunshot wound to lower back
-Quarnell Smith, 16, of Hartford, gunshot wound to lower extremity
-Angelique Green, 17, of Hartford, gunshot wound to lower extremity
“This investigation is ongoing,” said Major Crimes Division Commander Lance Sigersmith. “Anyone with information that can assist us in holding those responsible for these shootings accountable for their actions is asked to contact MCD Supervising Sergeant Rob Davis at 860-757-4256 of call Crime Stoppers.”
More on the Aug. 9 shooting: