BRIDGEPORT - Two men suspected of taking part in a fatal mass shooting at Trumbull Gardens in Bridgeport appeared before a judge Wednesday.
Police say Jamal "Moo Moo" Hamilton and Levan "Web" Bennett were arrested Tuesday in connection with the incident. They are facing murder, assault and weapons charges.
In a news conference Wednesday, police said they believe that the ambush-style shooting was the result of an "ongoing gang issue" and suggested it was retaliation for an earlier incident.
Police say the shooting occurred in an outdoor common area of the Bridgeport complex June 11. They say a group of shooters parked behind the complex, surrounded the parking lot and opened fire from all directions. Nine people were shot, including 37-year-old Savonnie McNeil, of Shelton, who was hit by stray bullets and died at the scene.
Within a week of the shooting, police say they arrested Hamilton on drug charges and Bennett was already set to turn himself in on a probation violation. Police say both men have long rap sheets.
Bridgeport police have defended why it took nearly three months to charge both men in the shooting while the anxious Trumbull Gardens community awaited results.
"We only get one chance to do this right," says Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett. "We need to make sure that we've got the right people and that we can get a conviction."
Hamilton and Bennett are being held on $1 million bond.
Police say they believe others were involved in the shooting, and that more arrests could follow.