Five Bridgeport patrol officers worked together to catch suspects in a fatal shooting in a matter of minutes. A city fire department lieutenant rescued a man from a burning building at great personal risk.
The six were honored as heroes by the American Red Cross Connecticut chapter at a breakfast celebration at the Trumbull Marriott on April 26.
Awards are being given to 10 recipients, including firefighters, police officers, a doctor, two registered nurses, a retiree, a school paraprofessional and three high school students.
American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region Chief Executive Officer Mario Bruno said the event is a special time to honor “ordinary people who do the extraordinary in service to other people or to their community.”
October 30, 2012 found Officers John Carrano and David Rivera on patrol when they heard multiple gunshots. Moving toward the sound, they radioed their situation back to Bridgeport dispatch. The officers arrived at a chaotic and crowded scene where a man lay gravely wounded in the middle of the street.
While Carrano radioed for medical assistance and began to identify and question witnesses, Rivera began tending the victim, providing care until medical personnel arrived and trying to gather more information from the man about his assailants.
Carrano and Rivera gathered details about the shooters and their vehicle, which they radioed back to dispatch. Officer Eliud Henry II, patrolling nearby and monitoring Carrano’s and Rivera’s transmissions, estimated the vehicle’s location and soon observed a vehicle fitting the description. He radioed the information and the suspect vehicle’s license number and circled back toward the vehicle. His transmissions were picked up by Officers Michael Cantrell and Fabio Pereira, who were nearby.
Cantrell and Pereira were soon able to cut off the suspect vehicle at an intersection while Henry approached from behind. Together, the three officers were able to halt the vehicle and apprehend five suspects. A Detective Unit recovered two firearms from the vehicle.
While the other officers were locating and apprehending the suspects, Rivera had proceeded to the hospital with the victim, comforting him during the trip and talking with him. While the victim ultimately died of his wounds, the officers’ nominator, Capt. Robert Gearing, noted that the quick apprehension of five parties responsible for the crime “undoubtedly saved lives in that there would have been a high probability for pay back on the streets of Bridgeport.”
Gearing praised the quick action, bravery in the apprehension of armed suspects in flight and the “excellent work” of the officers involved.
Lt. Frank Bridge was in Command of Engine 10 at this incident and was designated RIT. The fire was progressing rapidly and conditions were deteriorating as companies were conducting rescue operations. It was reported that an occupant was unaccounted for. A call was made to dispatch for another RIT and Engine 10 was used for rescue operations.
Bridge was the first to enter the building. Once the unit was located and could not be entered, Bridge went down the corridor, located the apartment of the fire origin, closed the door to prevent the fire from blowing in the hallway, reduce heat and buy time to force the door of the unit where the victim was trapped.
Bridge located the victim in the corner of the kitchen, face up. He grabbed hold of the victim by his pants and dragged the victim out of the building to waiting medics.