New Haven, CT – A New Haven police official was shot on Monday night after he interrupted a shooting.
The incident occurred at about 9:23 p.m. on Aug. 13 in the area of Dixwell Avenue and Henry Street while New Haven Police Captain Anthony Duff was off duty, the New Haven Register reported.
Capt. Duff, who is the New Haven Police Department’s public information officer, encountered two men who were involved in a shooting.
One man had been fatally shot and the other fired at Capt. Duff as he approached them, the New Haven Register reported.
Police Chief Otoniel Reyes told reporters at Yale New Haven Hospital around 11:30 p.m. that the first officers who responded to the captain’s radio call for help were able to put tourniquets on Capt. Duff before the ambulance arrived.
“Captain Duff is in the operating room and he has been stabilized. He is going to be OK, thankfully,” Chief Reyes said. “He sustained multiple gunshot wounds and he’s lucky to be alive.”
The chief said that city’s Shotspotter system was the first to pick up gunfire in the area and seconds later, Capt. Duff notified police that he had interrupted a shooting in progress.
“The next transmission we received was Capt. Duff calling for more units and saying that he himself had been struck by gunfire,” Chief Reyes told reporters. “The individual that he saw being shot has since been called, and is deceased.”
The man who shot Capt. Duff remains at large and has been described as a muscular black man with a goatee and long braids who was wearing a black shirt and pants, the New Haven Register reported.
Chief Reyes said that police were not aware of any vehicle that was involved in the incident.
The shooter fled on foot towards Townsend, the chief said.
Chief Reyes said that crime scene extended for multiple blocks and asked residents to stay in their homes while police conducted the investigation, the New Haven Register reported.
Capt. Duff was off duty and not wearing a uniform when he tried to intervene in the incident.
“He’s a hero,” Chief Reyes told reporters at the hospital.
Capt. Duff is a widely-respected, popular officer who initially moved to New Haven to attend Yale University, the New Haven Independent reported.
In his 24 years on the police force, he has been the Dixwell district manager, a field training officer, and a supervisor for internal affairs and departmental records, the New Haven Register reported.
Capt. Duff became public information officer in January and one of his first big internal projects was training all of the department’s officers on the use of tourniquets, the New Haven Independent reported.
New Haven Officer Joseph Perotti, one of the officers who has been credited with saving Capt. Duff’s life with tourniquets, also saved another shooting victim’s life in April using the techniques he learned in the captain’s training class.
Police have not released the name of the shooting victim who died, the New Haven Register reported.
Capt. Duff was believed to have been shot in the shoulder and pelvis but police have not yet confirmed that, nor said how many times the captain was shot, the exact nature of his injuries, or whether he returned fire, the New Haven Independent reported.
Connecticut State Police, East Haven police, and West Haven police responded to the scene to back up the New Haven Police Department.