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Lawmakers push for violence prevention funding in an effort to stop shootings

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    HARTFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — Following the shooting deaths of a 3-year-old boy and a teenager in Hartford over the weekend, some lawmakers are coming together in an effort to stop future shootings.

On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., state senators Marilyn Moore, Doug McCrory, and Gary Winfield will call on Gov. Ned Lamont to increase funding to statewide violence prevention programs in an effort to stop future shootings.

Two shootings happened on Saturday afternoon in Hartford, claiming the lives of 3-year-old Randell Jones and 16-year-old Jamari Preston.

Police said the 3-year-old was inside a car with a male passenger who was believed to have been the target of the shooting.

On Monday, Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody said the shooting that killed Jones and a shooting that killed 16-year-old Jamari Preston of New Britain are related to one another.

In a press release, the lawmakers pushing for violence prevention programs said the weekend shootings come as Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport have seen an increase in gun violence in 2020.

“The Hartford Police Department reported in fall 2020 that they had a 54% increase in shootings incidents from the same time period in 2019. Bridgeport saw a 30 percent increase in shootings in 2020 compared to 2019. New Haven reported 274 incidents of shots being fired, which was up from 151 in 2019,” the release said.

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