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Hartford police shooting adds to city's violent day

HARTFORD -- Police are investigating whether an officer was justified in firing his gun Saturday night in an incident that left one person dead and another injured.

The shooting added to a violent 24-hour period in the capital city. A total of five men were shot and three of them died.

A Hartford officer, whom police would not immediately identify, was working Saturday night with an agent from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as part of a program to rid weapons from the streets.

The shooting happened about 7:30 p.m. when the two officers tried to question the occupants of a car, one of whom was believed to have a firearm.

Police said the officers gave the suspects several commands, but the two men did not comply and the city officer fired his weapon.

Authorities would not say how many shots the officer fired or what exactly provoked his response. They also would not release the names of the suspects or the ATF agent.

The two men then drove off and crashed into another vehicle several blocks away.

The driver of the first car fled on foot and was found by police a short distance away. He was taken to Hartford Hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound to the chest.

The second suspect was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Three passengers of the other car were treated at the hospital and released.

The officer who fired his weapon was assigned to desk duty, in accordance with department policies.

On Friday, Edward Bell, 34, was shot and killed on George Street in the South End, where he lived.

Earlier Friday, two men were shot on Branford Street. Karl Miller, 24, was treated and released from St. Francis Hospital, but another man died shortly after being taken to the hospital. Police have not released his name.

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