Is It Bad Guys? The Guns? The Laws?

From city Communications Director Brett Broesder:

Today, Mayor Bill Finch and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal discussed strategies to strengthen state and federal gun laws to help keep illegal weapons off city streets.

“This is not a Bridgeport problem. This a national problem, and hard-working people in cities across the country are being victimized by weak and ineffective federal gun laws,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “We can and must do more to stem the tide of illegal guns that end up on our streets and in the hands of criminals.”

At 1 a.m. Thursday, gunmen opened fire on a group of people in the Trumbull Gardens apartment complex, killing one man and wounding eight other people.

“I guarantee that the people responsible for this terrible crime did not legally possess those handguns,” said Mayor Finch. “The question is how did they end up in their hands–and what can we do to prevent more weapons from ending up in the hands of criminals?”

Senator Blumenthal believes the answers start in Washington.

“No matter how good the local leadership and law enforcement, gun violence still requires strong federal protection to prevent crime, to protect against gun violence,” he said.

On Friday, Bridgeport Hospital reported that one patient injured in an early-morning shooting had been treated and released from the emergency room and two others were in fair condition.

A spokesperson for Saint Vincent’s Medical Center said the victims being treated there all were in stable condition or already had been discharged. No other information was available.

“Detectives have been working around the clock to identify the perpetrators of this outrageous crime,” said Mayor Finch. “And, this morning, we received positive news from the hospitals.”

Mayor Finch, Senator Blumenthal and Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. surveyed the crime scene Friday. The senator pledged to examine what federal assistance could be available, including potential federal funds for additional security cameras in the area.

Mayor Finch and Chief Gaudett both said security cameras have proven to be an effective tool not only in solving crimes but as deterrents for criminals. In fact, the department sent detectives to FBI training to enhance techniques to quickly secure video footage and disseminate it to the public.

“The mayor made this point very well,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Cameras not only help apprehend and prosecute criminals, but they also deter criminal activity. Anybody seeking to do harm to anyone in this community should know that Bridgeport is watching through those cameras. Bridgeport police will be watching, they will track them down, they will apprehend them, and put them behind bars if they threaten the safety of the people.”

On Thursday evening, Mayor Finch and dozens of community leaders and local clergy held prayer rallies outside both hospitals, locking arms in prayer for the fast and full recoveries of the victims.

“It is important that these victims know that the community is standing beside them and that they are in our thoughts and prayers. We all are outraged over what happened in Trumbull Gardens. And we will not stand by while a small number of people commit violence in our community. Detectives are working hard to bring these violent individuals to justice,” Mayor Finch added.

Mayor Finch has advocated for stronger gun laws at a state and national level since his tenure as a state senator.

And, as mayor, he launched a successful gun buyback program that took more than 1,000 guns off the streets.

“Those are weapons that can never be used to hurt or kill someone,” said Mayor Finch.

The city also distributed hundreds of free gun locks to ensure legally owned guns are stored safely and to help prevent accidental shootings.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention, one person is killed in the U.S. by a firearm every 17 minutes, 87 people are killed during an average day, and 609 are killed every week. Also, between 2000 and 2010, a total of 335,609 people died from guns–more than the population of St. Louis, Mo. (318,069), Pittsburgh (307,484), Cincinnati, Ohio (296,223), Newark, N.J. (277,540), and Orlando, Fla. (243,195).

“The numbers speak for themselves. We can–and must–do better,” said Mayor Finch. “The lives of our kids depend on it.”

Chief Gaudett said detectives continue to work around the clock investigating the incident.

“We are just under 36 hours into the investigation, and detectives are following strong leads. We have made significant progress, but we’re continuing to ask to the public to come forward with any information that will help take these violent individuals off the street,” said Chief Gaudett. “We can’t and won’t tolerate people settling grudges with handguns.”

He asked anyone with information to contact Detective Ada Curet, the lead investigator, at 203-581-5236.

“The issue we are talking about right now is proliferation of illegal weapons throughout this city, especially in the hands of young men who believe the only way to settle their differences is by using those guns. We need to address that issue,” Gaudett said. “Crime in the city continues to go down. The problem is not staffing levels or police visibility. The issue here is the proliferation of illegal weapons and we need to address that as a community and by strengthening gun laws.”

Last month, Gaudett attended an event in New York that highlighted “smart gun” technology. Bridgeport is among nearly 100 cities supporting the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign, which was created to use municipal buying power to leverage gun manufactures to improve safety of their products.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the department continues to have enhanced patrols in Trumbull Gardens, which is run the Bridgeport housing authority, Park City Communities. School resource officers have been working with kids in schools and in the neighborhood to ensure they feel safe. Clinicians have been deployed to the neighborhood to provide mental health support for any residents impacted by the shooting.

Also, members of StreetSafe Bridgeport remain in the neighborhood speaking with residents and young people to prevent any potential retaliation. Streetsafe Bridgeport is a grassroots initiative that hires community members, many of them ex-offenders, to mediate conflicts before they turn violent.

“I saw a community come together yesterday, saying ‘We won’t tolerate this in our neighborhood,'” said Mayor Finch. “We are a strong and resilient community, and we will emerge even stronger. Emotions are running understandably high right now. People are angry. I am angry. Even with those emotions, I am seeing good people committed to moving forward.”



  1. Has Beardsley Terrace been renamed Trumbull Gardens? How did this come about? Was it requested by those living in the area through a voting process allowing them some say in their neighborhood? And hasn’t the Bridgeport Housing Authority changed its name to Park City Communities? What was the reason? Isn’t it true “that a rose, is a rose, is a rose” no matter what it is called?

    People in neighborhoods ready to step forward safely and no chance of reprisals when they become reporters or whistleblowers need a long-term City program like TIPS. What say you? Does the name need changing? Or does Trustworthy Information for Public Safety (TIPS) sound like something we need today in Bridgeport so people know they can be helpful and confidential simultaneously? Time will tell.

    1. John, when they were first built in the ’50s they were supposed to be the model for middle class high-rise living. Many cops, firefighters and teachers lived there.
      These people started moving out and the state started putting in section 8 tenants and welfare tenants, soon it became a prison for the law-abiding resident as the thugs took over.
      Somewhere down the line it was decided to reduce the total population of the terrace by tearing down a large number of these seven-story buildings. They were to be replaced by 1-1/2 story attached wood frame dwellings. When the high rises came down they changed the name to Trumbull Gardens.
      I can tell you when all the high rises were there it was hell on the firefighters and cops.

  2. It has been 36 hours and there is no description of the people responsible for this terrible crime, nothing. People will not come forward because they are scared to death. Community policing works when police officers are not scared of those who they are there to protect and to serve. We have an understaffed police department but there has to be a certain amount of police officers on duty so overtime is running wild and there is no real plan on how or where to staff police officers. Mayor Finch, let’s use some real numbers about crime.


  3. These clowns Finch and Blumie will blame it on the bossa nova!
    Check all the cell phones in the area before and after!
    Put up a reward before someone else gets shot!

  4. Blumenthal is like a cockroach. This pig is indirectly responsible for some of the crime, because he is blocking a business that would bring 6-8 thousand jobs because he is getting paid off. If that P.O.S. ever comes to my neighborhood I will give him a new face. Why the people keep voting for scum like this who is economically holding people down is mind blowing!

  5. The framers of the Constitution wrote some good stuff that will stand the test of time and are good for 21st century America.

    The First Amendment Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition is some of the greatest things ever written and they will stand the test of time and are beyond scrutiny. However the Second Amendment, The right to keep and bear arms was meant to keep a ready militia only and not needed today given America has that ready militia.

    The framers of the Constitution must be rolling over in their graves to see what guns are doing to 21st century America. There is no way they could have envisioned 21st century America and the thousands of deaths each year at the hands of guns.

  6. DD, you are wrong. The Second amendment was written to protect the citizens from a tyrannical government. If you read the Federalist Papers written by James Madison and other founding fathers, which describes what their intent was in writing the Constitution. They absolutely envisioned the 21st century and beyond.

  7. Let’s see the quote in yesterday’s paper.
    Most of the victims, who ranged in age from 27 to 59;
    There had been about two dozen people in the parking lot about 1 a.m., sitting on car hoods and enjoying the night. Music was playing.
    “The kids were just out here chillin’, having a good time,” said the woman who witnessed the shooting. “About 24 people were out smoking blunts, drinkin’ Hennie and chillin’.”
    Obviously no one had a job to go to the next morning.
    The problem isn’t guns. Nor is taking guns away from honest citizens going to stop this. This is just the politicians’ sorry fix, because fixing the real problem is too hard. So we’ll just punish honest people.
    Or use guns to cover up the fact as our politicians they have failed. Their failed policies of spend, borrow, tax have driven good jobs out of our state.
    Time for them to take responsibility.

  8. If our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves, it is because we have driven God out of our country. Which is why they came here. Not guns. The Second amendment is the one amendment that allows all the others to exist!

    1. To worship freely, and not have a government-sanctioned religion or God. And not everyone here from the start of this country were here of their own accord, they had no freedom to do anything, including worship their God.

  9. Not for anything–the southern delegation pushed for this so they could lawfully have guns to keep their “property” safe. It is not as benign as you wish us to believe.

  10. Well said, Jennifer Buchanan. Gun zealots can always justify the death and carnage caused by guns until their family is subjected to the violence associated with gun violence.

    1. James Madison owned hundreds of slaves, whitewashing history in America is something that needs to be stopped. I have become recently aware of the term white privileges, and leaving out the facts relayed to slave owners who wrote such revered papers were not as honorable as portrayed in American history.

  11. Let’s not forget when Madison wrote his paper blacks had no rights and they were considered to be 3/5 of a person for taxing property which they were to whomever owned them.

    1. And with the 3/5 law, the south had more representatives to make our laws. The number of U.S. Presidents who owned slaves in their lives is no doubt the reason we have the race problems to this day in this country. 40% of US presidents have at one time owned slaves.

  12. These notions there is a silver bullet solution are just notions. I believe it is just a very large number of little things that all add up. One little thing is the concept of youth recreation and arts. Very poor with some notable exceptions such as Neighborhood Studios. I wish to add the “mayor” has dismantled the Bridgeport Community Land Trust and has allowed community gardens to take a fall, and part of its mission was to teach youth about gardening, cooking, work ethic, community and nutrition. Ahhh, the “little things,” they all add up, don’t they?

  13. The chief keeps saying the severe shortage has nothing to do with the shooting. There is nothing they could have done about it. Really???
    Do we have an active gang task force? Do we have officers permanently assigned to seizing illegal guns? Stopping illegal sales? Have we completed the investigation?
    I have read nothing about suspects. I have seen no pictures from any of the video cameras they have been checking. I have heard nothing about persons of interest. I have seen no physical descriptions of the shooters.
    And yet the severe shortage is not impacting the investigation. Another joke from the Finch Administration.


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