A 26-year-old woman was killed and five other people, including a 19-year-old woman, were wounded in a shooting at an adult entertainment club early Saturday morning, police said.
Erica Robinson, of West Haven, was "doing all the right things in life," Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., said. She went to work every day and had created her own line of clothing, he said.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, authorities said that Robinson was not the target of the shooting.
"A beautiful young woman was killed this morning," police Chief Dean Esserman said. "The sixteenth murder of the year in our city."
Esserman said that although they do not yet have a suspect in custody, the shooting was captured on video and the investigation is moving very quickly.
In a joint statement, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman called the incident "senseless violence."
"To have her life lost under these circumstances, as an unintended victim, is a terrible thing," Malloy said at the press conference.
The shooting happened inside of the Key Club Cabaret at 3:31 a.m. Saturday morning, according to police.
As of Saturday afternoon, Jahad Brumsey, 29, of New Haven, remained in critical condition, according to police. Nijia Ward, 24, Albert Dickerson, 34, Amanda John, 19 and Ivette Sterling, 25, were also injured in the shooting, police said.
An officer was near the club at 85 Saint John Street when he heard gunfire coming from inside. As he rushed inside, over 100 patrons scrambled out through the main entrance, police said. Several other officers in the vicinity responded as well.
The gunshot victims were found inside the club's after-hours area, police said.
Police also found drug paraphernalia and drug packaging throughout the club. The club's owners were not present at the time.
During the press conference Saturday, officials said they will focus their efforts on trying to shut down clubs that allow patrons under the age of 21, citing the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old outside the Hartford nightclub "Up Or On The Rocks" in August.
"These types of clubs are extremely dangerous," Malloy said. "There is no reason to have underage people at these types of clubs."
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