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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Shooting spurs rise in security

By Elizabeth Benton
Register Staff
NEW HAVEN
— Security at James Hillhouse High School softball games will be tightened after a daylight shooting near DeGale Field Monday sent athletes running for cover.
“We’re going to up the presence of police in the neighborhood. Police met with staff and the (physical education) department. I’m sure things will be fine,” said Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo. “This happened in the neighborhood, not the field itself.”
Three home games against Wilbur Cross, Guilford and Wallingford remain to be played at the field, and Mayo said there would be increased security at the games.
Milford’s Joseph A. Foran High School softball team was playing Hillhouse when gunfire broke out on nearby County Street around 4:20 p.m. Monday.
A gunman carrying a black semiautomatic handgun chased a teen down County Street shooting, then doubled back walking casually up the street with the weapon in hand, police said.
Witnessed said he then walked into 140 Henry St., where police found a .45-caliber pistol stashed behind the house. Police surrounded the area, and after an hour went inside and brought the shooter out in handcuffs. No arrest had been made as of Tuesday evening.
It was the second time the victim had been shot in recent weeks, and . Monday’s shooting also wasthe second in recent weeks near the field, adjacent to Hillhouse.
Two men died and a third was seriously injured in a hail of early morning gunfire adjacent to the field April 19.Monday’s incident also spurred policy change in Milford. Milford Superintendent of Schools Harvey B. Polansky told school board members Tuesday that buses will no longer leave students at games to complete other runs. Buses will now remain at fields to provide “some degree of security and comfort to parents.”
Board Chairman David Hourigan, D-4, said Milford students have been safely playing on New Haven fields for years. , and Milford officials hope the shooting was an isolated incident
While the procedural change may cost the district more in transportation, Hourigan said, “what’s the price for safety?”
Milford Bureau Chief Brian McCready contributed to this story. Elizabeth Benton can be reached at 789-5714 or ebenton@nhregister.com.

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