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Mayor Scott Slifka Visits Family on Abbotsford Avenue

Slifka says he wanted to express his concern personally.

On Thursday evening, West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka knocked on the door of the Texidor family home on Abbotsford Avenue and asked if he could speak to them about the shooting that took place on Tuesday afternoon.

Slifka, who went by himself to the home, said he wanted to express how upset he was that the shooting had happened and that the police response time was delayed by at least an hour.

"I'm furious," he said. "I'm furious that there was a shooting in our community. I'm furious that the response time was not acceptable."

Wilfredo Texidor, 19, a cousin of a Conard High School girl who allegedly was the target of a group of male Conard students' unwanted attention, was shot in the neck on Tuesday, but is expected to survive.

Quintana Texidor, the girl's mother, called police on the department's general line about 3 p.m. on Tuesday to say that she was concerned about some teenagers who were outside her home. She told the dispatcher that the boys had been threatening and bullying her daughter, who started at Conard early this year. The dispatcher ended the call by saying a police car would be out shortly.

An hour later, just before 4 p.m., Texidor called police again and asked why no one had been sent. She also said the situation was escalating. Minutes after that, as police were en route, the shooting occurred.

Slifka said he was upset that some town residents may believe their concerns are less important than those of others.

"Every part of town is treated equally," he said. "But right now, there are people who are doubting that."

The West Hartford Police Department has started an internal investigation into why police did not respond immediately to the scene after Texidor's first call. Slifka said he expected to hear the outcome of that probe within a "couple days." Police Chief James Strillacci said on Friday that a couple days might be optimistic but promised a thorough investigation.

"I and the town council treat this with the utmost importance," Slifka said. "We know we're judged by the result, and the result was unacceptable."

Slifka said the delayed response "shouldn't have happened in the first place," but that the investigation should help the department prevent it from happening again.

"No other answer is acceptable," he said.

Slifka also said he would sit down with any resident or family that was concerned about their treatment by town officials or law enforcement.

"I will do everything I can to regain that level of trust," he said.

The town's reputation for its school system and police responsiveness "has been excellent," Slifka said. "It shows you how, in a moment, that could possibly change."

Texidor could not be reached for comment on the mayor's visit.

Six teenagers face charges in the shooting incident, although the most serious charges have been filed against the 17-year-old shooter, whose name has not been released because of his age.

The incident began on Tuesday afternoon when a group of male students, including one who had asked the girl out repeatedly, were causing a disturbance outside her house, police Capt. Joseph Lasata said on Wednesday.

When Wilfredo Texidor came outside to ask the group to disperse, police said, a group of at least six teenagers surrounded him. The shooter produced a handgun, and witnesses told police he was eating a piece of pound cake as he pulled the trigger, hitting Wilfredo Texidor in the neck.

The suspects fled the scene and were arrested a short time later. Police said they recovered the gun used in the shooting about a block away.

The shooter has been charged with criminal attempt at murder, assault in the first-degree, carrying a gun without a permit, unlawful use of a firearm, and illegal possession of marijuana.

Charges have been reduced to breach of peace and interfering with a police officer for the other five students, including Justin Reyes, 18, of 156 Dart St., Hartford; Andre Cook, 18, 62 S. Quaker Lane, 2nd floor; and Marcus Stevens, 18, 91 Red Top Drive.

Keith Griffin April 01, 2011 at 09:43 PM
I'd be curious to hear Quintana Texidor's response to the mayor's visit. I hope she or somebody from her family lets us know. One thing I would be curious to know, though, is how it was known the mayor visited the Texidor family. Why did somebody feel compelled to share what surely was intended to be a private visit.
Susan Schoenberger (Editor) April 01, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Keith, the mayor shared his visit with me when I asked him for his reaction to the situation. I tried to reach the Texidor family but wasn't successful. I hope they will respond when they feel comfortable doing so.
Keith Griffin April 01, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Susan - thanks for the update. I love how quickly the folks at Patch respond. I'm glad to see it was Scott that shared the visit with you and somebody hadn't betrayed a private visit. Thanks for commenting on a Friday night!

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