Based on interviews of witnesses and statements collected by Manchester Police, Tuesday's shooting at an Oak Street residence appears to have been sparked by a stabbing incident at the same address several days earlier, although one of the suspects arrested in conjunction with Tuesday's shooting told police he had no involvement in the stabbing and was targeted mistakenly.
Seven people have been arrested for their involvement in the two incidents over the past week, although police have only released the names of three individuals because the other four suspects are minors. No one was wounded in Tuesday's shooting, while police described the stab wounds that two victims received the previous Friday, Sept. 21, as "non-life threatening."
According to documents compiled by police related to the incidents on file at Manchester Superior Court, an altercation between several youths at a Manchester High School football game on Sept. 21 appears to have prompted the stabbing. One of the victims of the stabbing incident, who is 17 years old, told police that he called his mother and older brother that night to pick him up from the game because he was afraid that several others were planning to "jump" him after the game.
When the family returned home to their 243 Oak St. residence, all three later told police that there were a group of about 10 people waiting there to attack the 17 year old male, several of whom had knifes. When his older brother tried to intervene, they told police afterwards, he was also stabbed. The two victims were transported to Hartford Hospital with minor injuries.
Jose Acosta, 18, of 9 West Middle Turnpike, and three unidentified minors were arrested as a result of that incident and charged with breach of peace, second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree riot and possession of a dangerous weapon.
The shooting several days later appears to have been prompted when, according to sworn statements given to police by the three suspects arrested for the shooting, the 16-year old minor arrested in conjunction with the shooting was approached at a Sunoco gas station on Main Street Tuesday afternoon by the 17-year old victim of the stabbing incident and several others in a white car, who accused him of participating in the stabbing incident. The 16-year old suspect in the shooting told police that he told the 17-year old stabbing victim that he did not participate in the crime, but that they attacked him anyway.
When the 16-year old returned home to his 358 Main St. residence, his father and older brother noticed bruises on his face and asked him what happened. When he told them that he had been attacked, according to statements, all three got into a tan Ford Escort and drove around the Main Street area searching for a white car that matched the description. The elder Cartagena brought along, according to statements.
When they located the vehicle in front of 243 Oak St., according to statements, an argument occurred between the three family members and several people at the Oak Street residence. Statements to police were conflicting about this, but at some point during the argument Danny Cartagena appears to have fired two shots from a handgun, then the three sped away and returned to their 358 Main St. residence.
When police spotted the tanned Escort in the driveway of 358 Main St., they took Cartagena, 39, Danny Cartagena Jr., 21, and the 16-year old into custody. A handgun was also found in an upstairs attic shared by a neighbor, but statements given to police linked the gun to the elder Cartagena, who is a convicted felony and not allowed to possess a firearm. Police traced the gun to one that was reported stolen in Hartford in the late 1990s. Marijuana was also found at the Cartagena's residence.
Danny Cartagena, was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, illegal discharge of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, possession of less than four ounces of marijuana, two counts possession of marijuana within 1,500 feet of a school, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and operating an illegal drug factory; and a 16-year old minor who was also arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree reckless endangerment.
Police said they are continuing to investigate both incidents and ask anyone with information to contact police at 860-645-5510. All calls can remain confidential.