By Justin Muszynski
Source Hartford Courant
One police officer was killed and another was injured following an incident in Hartford on Wednesday night that involved a car crash.
The incident was reported in the area of Asylum Avenue and Cogswell Street, according to the Hartford Police Department. Police said officers were responding to a call when their police cruiser was struck by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed through a red light and intersection.
Officer Bobby Garten, an eight-year veteran of the Hartford Police Department, died of his injuries, police said. Garten, 34, was a second-generation police officer. His father was a detective with the Hartford Police Department.
The second officer, Brian Kearney, is hospitalized in stable condition, according to police.
“We are devastated at the loss of Bobby,” Harford Police Chief Jason Brody said in a statement on Thursday morning. “He was an amazing person that exemplified what it means to be a Hartford police officer.
“His commitment to serve was above reproach,” Thody added. “Our HPD family has come together to support Bobby’s family, honor his memory, and do what he would want us to do, protect and serve the Hartford community.”
Police said one suspect, identified as 18-year-old Richard Barrington, is in custody.
“My heart and prayers and the love and prayers of our whole city are with Officer Garten’s parents, family, loved ones, friends and colleagues, and the entire HPD family,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin on Thursday. “Bobby Garten loved this city, loved the Hartford Police Department, served our community with distinction, courage, skill and compassion, and this loss is immeasurable for all who loved, served with, and knew him. Officer Garten and his family have our everlasting respect and gratitude.”
Gov. Ned Lamont directed U.S. and state flags in Connecticut lowered to half-staff in honor of Garten.
“The passing of Officer Garten is heartbreaking, and I express my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues in the Hartford Police Department,” Lamont said in a statement on Thursday. “This tragedy is an unfortunate reminder of the dangers that law enforcement face every day as they protect our neighborhoods.
“Officer Garten dedicated his life and his career to public safety, and we salute his courage, integrity, and commitment to the people of our capital city. I urge the residents of Connecticut to keep Officer Garten’s family and the Hartford Police Department in their prayers.”
Flags will be lowered immediately and remain lowered until sunset on the date of interment, which has not yet been determined.
“Our police officers work tirelessly to protect and serve, often risking their own safety,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said in a statement Thursday. “Last night’s tragedy is a reminder to us all of the sacrifice our officers are willing to make to keep us safe.
“My heart breaks for Hartford Police Department and for the loved ones of Officer Garten,” Bysiewicz added. “His bravery and sense of duty will never be forgotten. I’m keeping Officer Garten and his loved one in my prayers.”
Multiple police departments across Connecticut offered condolences.
“We stand with the Hartford Police Department and all of its members, as we grieve this horrible loss,” said Bridgeport Police Chief Chief Roderick Porter in a release on Thursday. “We will continue to show our support during this difficult time for the officer’s family and our brothers and sisters in blue.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time,” East Hartford Police Department said. “We are hoping for a full and speedy recovery for the officer who was injured.”
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