It turned out the weapons were paintball guns, not AK-47s. The incident was hazardous enough for the people involved.
The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m.
Police received “numerous” calls about a pair of people shooting paintballs “at people and cars,” according to a police incident report.
Officers Brendan Cain and Shane Wityak responded, along with Officer Kyle Listro and Detective Frank Sanchez. They came across the pair with the paintball guns at Howard Avenue and Putnam Street. The pair started firing at their car.
Cain and Wityak got out and chased the suspects. While running, the men fired at the officers, according to the police. Cain was hit three times by the forceful shots.
The officers did catch the suspects and arrest them. They confiscated the paintball guns as well.
Police Chief Otoniel Reyes described the incident as “harrowing” for the public and for the officers.
Some people might not realize how dangerous these kinds of paintball guns are, he said. A paintball blast can break a window or hit someone while driving. They hit pedestrians. The officers could have been hit in the face and lost an eye, or sustained serious head injuries.
Fortunately, Cain was hit in the leg and his bulletproof vest rather than in a more vulnerable spot.
“These individuals had no respect for human life, no respect for the law, and no respect for law enforcement officers,” Reyes said. “Their reckless and brazen actions could have led to tragic outcomes.
“Those are very sophisticated competitive-style guns that can cause significant injury to pedestrians with no protective equipment.”
Reyes commended the officers for their “swift actions” and “restraint in handling this dangerous situation, which could have otherwise ended tragically.” He thanked the public for immediately alerting the police to the situation.
The arrestees, who are 20 and 23, were charged with offenses ranging from assault on a police officer to reckless endangerment and carrying a dangerous weapon.
Over on the west side of town, top Westville/ West Hills/ West Rock cop Lt. Elliot Rosa reported to neighbors Monday that his officers have seen an “uptick in paintball incidents” and recovered the pictured paintball guns.
posted by: Hartman13 on October 5, 2020 11:37am
How easily could that gun be mistaken for the real deal. I’d hate to think of what New Haven would be like following news reports titled, “Cops Gun Down Young Men With Toy Guns”.
Great job Officers! You should be proud of yourselves.
If Airsoft and paintball guns are used in the manner of a “true” weapon, the courts should impose “true” sentences with no distinctions between the two.
I’m with CityYankee on this. There’s a difference between a “suspect” and a “perpetrator”. If these guys were caught with the guns (which sounds like the case here), name them and post their photos.