18-year-old charged with murder of 15-year-old Hamden student: police

HAMDEN, CT – Police have announced an arrest in connection with the shooting death of a 15-year-old Hamden High School student last month.

Elijah Gomez was shot and killed while walking home from school along the Farmington Canal Path on May 9, police say.

Jenigh Ward, 18, from Hamden, was arrested on Monday and charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and carrying a weapon without a licence. He was being held in lieu of $1 million bond with a June 13 court date.

Detective Andrew Lipford, along with members of the Hamden Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit, have conducted a thorough investigation into the shooting, police say.

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the New Haven Police Shooting Task Force, FBI – New Haven Field Office, US Marshal’s Office – District of CT – Violent Fugitive Task Force, New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office, State of Connecticut Division of Scientific Services, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, for the significant support and assistance provided to the Hamden Police Department during this investigation,” police wrote in a news release.

Acting Police Chief Timothy Wydra told a news conference Monday that the investigation is ongoing and active, and police hope to make further arrests in connection with the shooting.

Wydra said police are still investigating the motive for the shooting. Police believe Gomez was targeted, but they don’t know why, according to Wydra.

Mayor Lauren Garrett said at the press conference that Gomez was a much-loved and respected young man whose life was cut short by a “senseless act of violence.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Lipford at 203-230-4055.