New Haven Register - 08/09/2006
Teen shooting victim dies; no arrests
By William Kaempffer, Register Staff
NEW HAVEN - A 13-year-old boy shot in
the head last weekend after he left a carnival near his house
Justus Suggs' family removed him from
life support Tuesday afternoon. He died a short time later.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
confirmed an autopsy was scheduled for today. Justus never
regained consciousness after he was shot July 29 near the
intersection of Sylvan Avenue and Orchard Street, just a few
blocks from the carnival at Career High School.
Justus' family did not make any public
statements Tuesday. His mother, Tracey Suggs, who was at her
Davenport Avenue home Tuesday night, indicated that she wasn't
ready to talk about the loss of Justus. Police have said that
he did not appear to be the intended target.
He had spent the afternoon working on
the dirt bike behind his apartment house and in the evening
went to the carnival with another group of friends with instructions
from his mother not to be out too late, his family has said.
The shooting occurred just after 10 p.m.,
when the occupants of a car rolled up and at least one of
the occupants opened fire on a crowd of youths, hitting Justus
once, police have said.
Police last week said they were following
promising leads, but the investigation apparently did not
progress as quickly as hoped.
"No arrests have been made," said police
spokeswoman Bonnie Winchester. "They're continuing their investigation
at this point."
Police have released no information about
Justus is survived by his mother; older
brother, Keith Weston; and extended family.
The boy had been kept alive on a respirator.
Last week, his mother, Tracey Suggs, said she wanted to end
his pain and was waiting for out-of-town family to arrive.
Police have said the shooting may be related
to a neighborhood feud between the Hill, where Justus lived,
An off-duty detective who witnessed the
shooting followed the car to George Street, where the occupants
jumped out and escaped.
Police seized the car and recovered a
gun that was inside.
Justus' shooting came six weeks after
a 13-year-old girl, Jajuana Cole, was shot to death near her
house when a gunman fired into a crowd. Five people have been
arrested in that case.
©New Haven Register 2006
New Have Register - 08/16/2006
Teen charged in fatal shooting of boy
By William Kaempffer
NEW HAVEN - A 16-year-old youth has been
arrested as the gunman who killed 13-year-old Justus Suggs.
Thaddeus Rout appeared in a closed hearing
in New Haven Superior Court Wednesday afternoon and was charged
with murder and other charges.
He had been jailed on unrelated larceny
counts as detectives Ed Reynolds and Steve Teague built the
case against him.
Police say Rout was the gunman who fired
into a crowd July 29 on Sylvan Avenue near Orchard Street.
Suggs, who was riding home from a nearby
carnival, was struck in the head. He never regained consciousness
and died Aug. 8 after his family removed him from life support.
He was buried yesterday.
According to police, the incident apparently
stemmed from a fight on the New Haven Green an hour or so
before the shooting. Rout allegedly got into a brawl with
a young man from the Hill neighborhood and got the worst of
it, cops said. He later hooked up with a friend and drove
through the Hill neighborhood.
On Sylvan Avenue, at about 10 p.m., Rout
allegedly opened fire on a group of young men. Suggs was not
believed to be the intended target. It was not clear if the
person who had fought with Rout was in the crowd or if he
The driver of the car has been identified
and interviewed by police but has not been arrested.
Rout lives on Edgewood Avenue in an area
kids call the Tre, and youths there have a standing feud with
youths from the Hill.
Suggs was the second 13-year-old killed
by an errant bullet in six weeks in the city.
In June, Jajuana Cole was shot in the
back and died after gunmen opened fire on a group on Dickerman
©New Haven Register 2006
New Haven Independent - August 16,
Cops Arrest 16 Year-Old For Justus'
by Melissa Bailey
One day after 13 year-old Justus Suggs
was laid to rest, police have charged a 16 year-old boy with
murder. Police said a beef between the Hill and the Tre prompted
the suspect to shoot.
A 16 year-old boy from the Dwight/Kensington
area, a.k.a. the Tre, was arrested Wednesday while appearing
in court for a separate larceny case. He was charged with
murder and criminal possession of a firearm and held on a
$3 million bond.
Police Chief Cisco Ortiz said
police believe the boy got into a fight with some kids from
the Hill - not including Justus - at a concert on the New
Haven Green on July 29. The boy later "sought out a gun" and
took a car to the Hill, where teens were spilling out of a
carnival at the Career High School. The boy opened fire
from a car, "targeting a group of kids" on bikes - not Justus
in particular, said Ortiz. One bullet hit Justus in the
back of the head, sending the boy into a coma from which he
was not to recover. Another bullet barely missed one of Justus'
An off-duty cop witnessed the shooting
and followed the car to the Tre, where the car was abandoned
with a gun inside. Ortiz said Wednesday he had "conclusive
evidence" that that gun was the murder weapon. Ortiz said
he did not expect further arrests in the case.
WTNH - August 17, 2006
16-year-old arrested in shooting death
By Kent Pierce
A rival run-in may have lead to the shooting
death of a 13-year old New Haven boy. All-fingers are pointing
to one suspect in the death of Justus Suggs, and he is only
This was sort of like a tale of two mothers.
Thaddeus Rout was arraigned on a murder charge Thursday morning.
He's 16, so his mother Felicia was standing next to him. And
just a few feet behind them, in the front row, was Tracey
Suggs, the grieving mother of the boy Rout allegedly shot.
Thaddeus Rout is no stranger to courts
and prison khakis. During his arraignment it came out that
the 16 year-old has numerous prior arrests, and he was already
in custody for stealing a car when was charged with murder.
Felicia Rout hid from our cameras, but
in court she stood next to her son as the judge upheld his
bail at three million dollars.
Thaddeus Rout is charged with putting
a bullet in the back of Justus Suggs' head on the night of
Police say the shooting was actually the
result of a confrontation an hour and a half earlier between
two groups of teens from rival neighborhoods - the Hill neighborhood
and the Dwight-Kensington neighborhood - and they had a confrontation
in downtown New Haven. They say that Thaddeus Rout was part
of the group from Dwight Kensington."
An hour and a half later, police say Rout
drove through the Hill neighborhood, spotted a group of teens
and opened fire. Justus Suggs just happened to be riding his
bicycle home from a carnival.
The 13 year-old lived, but only thanks
to life support machines. His family decided it had no choice
but to let him go. Outside the arraignment, Tracey Suggs was
still too distraught to talk about it.
And this was just one death in a bloody
summer in New Haven.
"No, it doesn't surprise me, but I don't
think the violence is geared towards each other. I just think
it's an outlet,"
Bishop Kenny Peeples said. Bishop Peeples
runs a community church. He says teens need good role models
in order to stay away from gangs.
"They need to see us out in the community
more than they see the drug dealers. They need to see the
positive people in the community. There is an apathetic mindset
in our people in that they're afraid to come out of their
own house. These kids need to see us more than they see the
As for the police, they say they have
the gun Rout used and the car he was in, and now they have
him behind bars on three million dollars bond. He'll be back
in court on September 5th.
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