Police identify 20-year-old Stratford man killed in Ansonia; victim's mother shares her grief
Johnny Class turned 20 years old last month but won't get to celebrate his next birthday. Ansonia police Thursday identified Class, of Stratford, as the young man shot to death in the city last week.
"He was basically a person that believed in anybody," his mother, Erica Ortiz, told News 12.
Class was the oldest of six siblings and a dad to an 8-month-old daughter. Ortiz said he loved kids and making people laugh.
"If you were sad in any way, he'd sit there and cheer you up. He didn't care if he knew you for five seconds or five years," she said.
Ortiz has spent the past several days looking at pictures of her oldest child through the years. The two were very close.
"I grew up with him, you know? He taught me to be the mom that I am, and it hurts that I had to lose him," Ortiz said tearing up.
Tuesday, April 5, just after noon, would be the last time Ortiz would see her son alive.
"He said, 'Mom, I'll be right back. I'm going with my friend.' And I said 'OK. Be careful sweetie,'" Ortiz recalled.
She told News 12 Class always called and texted her throughout the day. When he didn't, she tried him, but it went straight to voicemail.
"I had a really bad feeling that something happened," Ortiz remembered. Then Ansonia police showed up at her door.
Police responded to Main Street by Kingston Drive around 12:45 p.m. after a 911 call from a man who said his friend had been shot. That friend was Class, whom police found injured in the front passenger seat of a car. They learned from the driver that the shooting took place about 1 mile north on Hubbell Avenue near Sixth Street.
"Officers went there. We were able to recover some evidence in relation to the initial scene of the shooting," said Ansonia police Lt. Patrick Lynch. That included a shell casing. Class was rushed to the hospital but died there.
"The way they put it, he was at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Ortiz, referring to what police told her about her son's death. "It broke my heart because my son would never have any problems with anybody."
Police told News 12 they've been working this case nonstop since it happened and believe an arrest is coming.
"We have some very strong leads," Lynch said. "A lot of good information came in, and we're building a very strong case."
Anyone with information on the shooting can contact Ansonia police at 203-735-1885 or leave an anonymous tip here.