STAMFORD, Conn. -- A pistol-whipping at a block party and a longstanding rivalry between East Side and West Side groups were behind the fatal shooting of Darius Jones on July 8, 2012, Stamford Police said Thursday as they announced the arrests of two men in connection with the killing.
"This is really about persistence and dedication," Capt. Richard Conklin said of the arrests as he praised the work of Sgt. Anthony "Butch" Lupinacci, and fellow investigators Eddie Davis, Jerry Junes and Rafael Vaccaro.
Randy Francis, 24, of 44 Sterling Place, Stamford, and Glachan Caleb (Lou) Charlestin, 23, of 117 Marion St., Bridgeport, are each facing a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of Darius Jones, 22, of Seaton Road in Stamford. Bond has been set at $2.5 million for each man.
"These guys, assisted by uniform (officers), narcotic and organized crime, worked tirelessly on this case, overcame a lot of obstacles. As is often commonplace, there was not the cooperation we seek from the community," Conklin said.
"These officers never let this leave their mind. They worked tirelessly on this, and they brought it to a culmination yesterday," he said.
Just minutes after midnight, four males were shot after leaving a party on Custer Street, police said. Jones was shot once in the heart, and the bullet passed through his body, police said. Lupinacci said the bullet was never recovered.
Charlestin had been pistol-whipped by Wyclif Beljean at the party because he was from the West Side of the city and was on East Side turf on Custer Street, police said. Charlestin and Francis then waited for their victims, jumped out and fired into the group, which included Jones, as they sought to exact revenge on the Custer Street group, police said.
The other three males were wounded and survived, but didn't cooperate with officers, police said.
A few days later, Beljean, a friend of Jones, was killed in what police believe was an act of revenge for the pistol-whipping, police said.
Jones' sister Dijona Wilson attended the press conference announcing the arrests but sat near the back of the room.
Frequently dabbing her eyes while being comforted by Lupinacci and Jones, Wilson said she was relieved the arrests had been made.
"I am happy. I may not look like it, but I am happy," she said.
Wilson, who said she was adopted and is one of four sisters, said Jones had spent time in jail. But she said he was a changed man when he came out, getting closer to family members and trying to straighten his life out.
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