Police ID man killed in shooting at Garcia Mini Market in Bridgeport
Police have identified a man killed in a shooting at Garcia Mini Market in Bridgeport. Michael John Bernardo III, 35, was shot and killed at Garcia Mini Market on Newfield Avenue on Thursday.
Police say Bernardo had ties to the local area as well as in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. News 12 Connecticut's Frank Recchia spoke with Bernardo's uncle from Port Saint Lucie Friday.
Frank Bernado says his nephew graduated from Bunnell High School in Stratford and studied to be an electrician's apprentice. He says his nephew worked in that field for a time before transitioning to a job in the security alarm business and moving to Florida. Frank Bernado says Michael John Bernardo only recently returned to Bridgeport.
"He was a great kid, and then he just started getting into hard times, he had some problems. He got hit in the head, he had some problems and he just started having memory stuff and things like that," Frank Bernado says.
Police say they responded to a report of a person shot inside Garcia Mini Mart Thursday afternoon. It is not clear how Michael John Bernardo ended up shot to death inside the bodega.
Neighbors say the business is a popular corner market in the neighborhood and that many kids go there after school.
Longtime family friend Teddy McKinney of Stratford says regardless of how Michael John Bernardo died, the loss is heartbreaking.
"The Bernardo name is an outstanding name in Bridgeport, in the community, you know -- and it's terrible," said McKinney.
Lifelong East End resident Scott Bish says the man who runs the bodega is a good friend to the community, and Bish says he is sorry whatever happened resulted in a homicide.
"I stand behind the store, and the store stands behind me," says Bish. "I knew something wasn't right, so I left and watched from afar."
The family says they're still in the process of making funeral arrangements.