Juvenile Arrested in Fatal Shooting
by Vicki Gemmell ◊ Aug 17, 2012
A press conference was held Monday, August 13, to address the fatal shooting of 22-year-old James Dudley, of Hamden. Chief of Police Thomas J. Wydra announced the arrest of a juvenile male in connection with the homicide, which took place on Saturday, August 11.
The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed due to his status as a juvenile, was identified as the shooter and has been charged with felony murder, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and carrying a pistol without a permit. The suspect was transferred to the Juvenile Detention Center in Bridgeport on August 12, 2012.
Chief Wydra expressed his gratitude for the talent and dedication of the police force. “People worked around the clock over the weekend; following leads, developing information – we had great support and collaboration from our community, and that’s a crucial element in our investigation,” he said. The police reported that social media played a role in the arrest, but declined to comment further.
Members of the victim’s family gathered along with members of the police force to discuss the ongoing investigation and reflect on the life of the deceased.
“My son loved going outside, playing basketball, doing the different things that young adults do,” said Pamela Heard, mother of the late James Dudley. “He liked to hang with his buddies on North Street, you know, he was just an average young adult.”
“I just want to thank the Hamden Police Department because they did a very good job. They’ve updated us, from the time that we went to the scene until the time that we came back home” Heard said. “My son, my husband, and my ex-husband are here, and we just want to thank everybody for their support: friends and family, coworkers – thank you so much.”
James Dudley, who graduated from Hamden High School in 2008, had been working as a teacher’s aide at ACES for three years and was in the process of obtaining a college degree. His brother, Taikwon Dudley, recalled how James had loved his job. “It was his pride and joy,” Dudley said. “He loved it.” He went on to thank the Hamden Police for their sensitivity and swift handling of the case. “Everything that you expect a police department to do, they did.”
A vigil was held on Sunday, August 12, at the location on North Street where James Dudley was shot. “He was someone that was very well-liked…loved. The vigil showed how many people came out to show their support. It was amazing,” said Anissa Richardson, Dudley’s cousin. Friends and family described him as a musician, a basketball player, and a beloved member of the community who will be missed.
Police say the investigation is ongoing and that more arrests are possible.