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Suspect in New London murder arrested in Massachusetts

July 31, 2018

Nineteen-year-old Jamir Johnson, on the run since New London police say he shot and killed Quvonte Andre Gray on Dec. 9, 2017, was captured in Halifax, Mass., early Tuesday and charged with breaking into houses and burglarizing 54 cars in the south shore community.

Johnson was observed riding a bicycle through a neighborhood at 3:30 a.m. wearing clothing and rubber gloves similar to those seen in a surveillance video at one of the burglary victim’s homes, according to a statement posted on Facebook by Halifax Police Chief Edward Broderick. He was stopped by the officers and taken into custody after a brief foot chase.

Johnson was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Plymouth District Court, where he has been appointed a lawyer from the public defender’s office, according to a court clerk.

New London Police Chief Peter Reichard said his department is following the court proceedings in Massachusetts and stands ready to retrieve Johnson and charge him with Gray’s murder. Reichard said he has been attempting to contact the victim’s father, who lives in Florida, to let him know Johnson is in custody. Gray, 21, divided his time between New London and Florida.

New London police named Johnson as a person of interest in the homicide even before they had positively identified the man who had been found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in a basement apartment at 4 Orchard St.

“We tried talking to him a number of times to come in and turn himself in before a warrant was issued, to no avail,” Reichard said by phone. “Then we were we were able to secure an arrest warrant.”

The warrant, issued in May, charges Johnson with murder, possession of a pistol without a permit and unlawful discharge of a firearm. The New London police had enlisted the assistance of other law enforcement agencies and U.S. marshals, but had been unable to locate Johnson.

He is charged in Massachusetts with breaking and entering, possession of burglary tools, failure to identify, resisting arrest, receiving stolen property and being a fugitive from justice.

In his Facebook post, Broderick, the police chief in Halifax, thanked the police officers who spent hours investigating the burglaries over the past few weeks. He wrote that if not for their diligence, “this alleged murderer would still be roaming our streets while we sleep.”

He could not immediately be reached for comment.

The State of Connecticut will be lodging a detainer on Johnson, or notifying Massachusetts authorities that they should hold him and turn him over to New London police after his burglary cases are resolved.

Alternatively, Johnson could opt to waive extradition and be brought back to Connecticut immediately to face the murder charge, according to court officials.

k.florin@theday.com

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