'It's just not OK.' Family of second New Year's Day shooting victim grieves loss

Investigators say Qualon Wilkes, 22, was pronounced dead on Jan. 5 at the hospital.

News 12 Staff

Jan 6, 2023, 4:11 PM

Updated 526 days ago

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A second Bridgeport man has died following a New Year's Day shooting on Route 15 in Hamden.
Investigators say Qualon Wilkes, 22, was pronounced dead on Jan. 5 at the hospital.
Wilkes was among three men involved in a shooting on Route 15 on New Year's Day in Hamden. Adrian Lopez, 23, of Bridgeport was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering a gunshot wound. One other man inside the car at the time of the shooting, Mark Dunbar, 26, of Bridgeport, suffered injuries not considered to be life-threatening.
The family of the 22-year-old says Wilkes was a substitute teacher for Bridgeport Public Schools and was a mentor to his students. His cousin Samaris Rose says Wilkes had a reputation for staying out of trouble.
"He wasn't about the streets, and the fact that he had to lose his life at such a young age -- it's just not OK," said Rose.
"Qualon did not get into anything. He wasn't about any of that. Everybody knows that he worked and went to school and was about his family," said Wilkes aunt, who asked not to provide her name.
A parade of well-wishers comforted Wilkes' family in the Hollow section of Bridgeport Friday.
"Unfortunately, one of the last times I saw him was at a memorial for one of his friends that passed through the gun violence -- so it's just ringing in my head," said family friend Joe Grits.
State police are asking for the public's help and ask anyone with information to contact state police.


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