13 people shot at Bridgeport house party

Courtesy: WTNH
Courtesy: WTNH (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

Michelle Rappaport, News 8 Assignment Editor and Renee Chmiel, News 8 Reporter – BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Police responded to reports of shots fired at around 1:30 a.m. at 19 Plymouth Street. More than 100 people were at the party.

Eleven people suffered non-life threatening wounds to their lower extremities and one man sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his face, according to police. One woman is in critical condition with gunshot wounds to her face. Three of the victims were brought to St. Vincent's Medical Center and ten were brought to Bridgeport Hospital.

Michael Arlotta has lived in the neighborhood for about a decade. His friend threw the party and he was there.

"I was standing there just talking to another person there," he said. "All of a sudden there were shots fired. Mind you, I'm a combat veteran."

Police say at least two shooters were hiding behind bushes on the side of the house. However, no one got a good look at them. Police aren't sure if the shooters were at the party at some point. They don't yet know why they opened fire on the people there.

"I was able to see the muzzle flash coming from the direction of the driveway," said Arlotta.

Arlotta found the woman who had been shot in the face. She was lying on the ground and he rushed to help her.

"The ambulance wasn't going to get here fast enough. I just tried to do the best I could, so I picked her up, we got her in the car and we got her to the hospital," he said.

Detectives spent Sunday interviewing neighbors and searching for evidence. They found 10 shell casings and are still looking for the guns. They're stepping up patrols in the neighborhood and they're hoping the public will help them. Neighbors are still shaken by what happened.

"This shocked me, because we never had anything like this," said Paddy Kerr, who lives nearby.

Police say the people who threw the party may face charges. They believe they were charging party goers and held the party to make money. All the people there made the first responders' jobs even more difficult.

"[It was] very chaotic, it was a nightmare for us," said Chief AJ Perez of the Bridgeport Police Department.

Eight of the victims have been released from the hospital.

If you have any information police ask that you call their tip line: 203-576-8477.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy released the following statement regarding the shooting:

"The news of last night's mass shooting in Bridgeport is infuriating – I'm simply unable to contemplate the evil behind such contempt for human life. I'm overwhelmingly grateful that surprisingly no lives were lost. I thank Bridgeport's first responders and emergency services for their outstanding professionalism and effectiveness in times of crisis. I stand with the people of Bridgeport and local law enforcement as they investigate this attempted mass murder and bring the perpetrators to justice."

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal issued this following statement:

"More trauma, more tragedy. Every day more Americans are injured or killed by a bullet is more graphic evidence-unwelcome and unwanted-of the urgent need for common sense gun violence prevention measures. Congress is complicit in this scourge by its inexcusable inaction. The victims in Bridgeport are among tens of thousands shooting casualties every year. No one is immune to this public health crisis as it rips apart communities near and far."

Congressman Jim Himes also released a statement:

"Early this morning, senseless and terrible violence rocked our community as gunmen wounded 13 innocent people in Bridgeport, ambushing them during a house party. As federal law enforcement joins with our local investigators to bring those responsible to justice, we will all be hoping for the full and speedy recoveries of the victims and are grateful to the first responders and medical personnel working to save lives. I join the rest of the Connecticut delegation, and all people who care about a safer country for our families, in calling on Congress to take action to prevent these mass shootings and the daily gun violence that affects so many Americans instead of standing in cowardly silence."

The last mass shooting in Bridgeport was just over a year ago. In June 2015 gunfire erupted at the Trumbull Gardens apartments. Savonnie McNeill, a father of four, was killed. Eight others were hurt.