Government Police/Fire

[Updated] West Hartford Police Take Person of Interest in Shooting at USJ Into Custody

Darnell Barnes. Courtesy of West Hartford Police

West Hartford Police said late Sunday night that they have taken Darnell Barnes into custody. [Updated, Nov. 6, 2022, 11:55 p.m.]

By Ronni Newton

Updated, Nov. 6, 2022

West Hartford Police said late Sunday night that Darnell Barnes, 22, who had been the subject of a manhunt since Friday morning in connection with a shooting on the campus of the University of Saint Joseph and subsequent motor vehicle crash, has been taken into custody and arrested by warrant on multiple charges.

Capt. Daniel Moffo said in a news release that shortly before 11:30 p.m. Sunday, the West Hartford Police Department Detective Division served Barnes with a warrant that included charges of first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, evading responsibility, first-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle.

He is being held on $1 million and and scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Nov. 7.

No details were immediately available from police regarding where and how Barnes was taken into custody.

Police said this remains an active investigation and they continue to request that anyone with details about the incident contact them at 860-523-5203 or through the confidential tip line by phone at 860-570-8969 or via email at [email protected].

Original story

West Hartford Police are asking for the public’s help in locating an individual determined to be a person of interest in a shooting that occurred around 2:20 a.m. Friday on the campus of Saint Joseph University at 1678 Asylum Avenue, and have confirmed that the the shooting and a single-vehicle rollover crash on Albany Avenue near Calvary Church are related.

Sgt. Amanda Martin said the person of interest has been identified as Darnell Barnes, 22. He is a black male, roughly 5-feet 5-inches tall, and weighs 145 pounds.

Police said caution is advised, as Barnes is believed to be armed and dangerous because the firearm has not been recovered.

On Friday evening, Martin said that police have obtained an extraditable warrant for Barnes’ arrest, which is valid anywhere in the United States and in Puerto Rico. When Barnes is located, he will be charged with first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, evading responsibility, first-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle. The court has set bond at $1,000,000, Martin said.

A spokesperson from the University of Saint Joseph confirmed that “Darnell Barnes is not a student at the University of Saint Joseph.”

Earlier today USJ issued a statement that read: “West Hartford Police have assured USJ that there is no threat to the community and that the campus is safe and secure,” the statement reads. “West Hartford Police are currently on campus investigating the incident. Classes and activities at USJ will proceed today following their normal schedule.”

Aftermath of rollover crash on Albany Avenue that occurred on Nov. 4, 2022. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Martin confirmed that the shooting and the rollover crash nearby are related, and said the driver of the vehicle “did suffer gunshot wounds.” The victim sustained “serious” injuries, she said, and was transported to a local hospital. She said no further information about the victim, or that person’s condition, is available at this time.

Barnes is believed to have fled to Massachusetts and according to information posted by the Massachusetts State Police on their official Facebook page, troopers found the vehicle that Barnes had been driving on the west side of the Massachusetts Turnpike, near Mile Marker 31.6, in Blandford. The vehicle, a black Nissan Pathfinder with New Mexico plates, was unoccupied.

The Massachusetts State Police Special Tactical Operations Team checked the vehicle, and did not recover any firearms.

A thorough search of the area near Blandford and Russell, MA, along the Massachusetts Turnpike west of Springfield, was conducted, that included the use of K-9 teams and drones as well as patrols, Massachusetts State Police said, but as of 1:40 p.m. they determined that Barnes was not in the area. “We are working with West Hartford Police on the follow-up investigation. Residents should practice basic caution and maintain awareness as they go about their normal activities. Please call 911 if you see anyone or anything suspicious,” Massachusetts State Police posted on Facebook.

Massachusetts State Police said on their Facebook page that they believe Barnes is from Hartford and previously lived in Bristol, CT.

West Hartford Police are also asking that anyone who may have any idea of Barnes’ whereabouts, or is a witness or has further information about either the shooting or the motor vehicle crash contact the Detective Division at 860-570-8770 or through the confidential tip line by phone at 860-570-8969 or via email at [email protected].

Check back with We-Ha.com for updates to this story.

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