State lawmakers returned to the State Capitol on Tuesday to learn that the Hartford monument had been damaged by gunfire, most likely early Monday or Tuesday when the building was unoccupied, officials said. The damage appeared to have been caused by two or three bullets.
Two bullet holes in windows and one in a hanging outdoor lamp, all located on the south side of the building facing Capitol Avenue and the Supreme Court, were discovered Tuesday morning as lawmakers and Capitol workers returned after the weekend. -end of public holiday for the resumption of the 2021 session.
A law enforcement source said the city’s ShotSpotter system detected a gunshot nearby in the early hours of Monday morning, but police officials declined to comment further.
A bullet may have passed through the lamp and a window above the entrance hall and just below the House bedroom. Another walked through a window adjacent to a door. Police did not say whether bullets were recovered.
State soldiers were examining and photographing the damage when Governor Ned Lamont arrived for an outdoor press conference announcing the appointment of members of Connecticut’s new Hate Crimes Advisory Council. He was briefed outside the building by Capitol Police and State Police.
“I think these are random acts, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it,” Lamont said. “They haven’t shot anything that we know of at this point.”
Capitol Police take the lead in crimes committed on Capitol grounds. State Police were assisting and Hartford Police were involved as the shots could have been fired from the street.
A soldier climbed a large stepladder to examine a light fixture inside the Capitol. When he was finished, a member of the building maintenance staff swept away small shards of glass.
Outside, a Capitol officer with an M-4 rifle stood guard.
The Capitol has been closed to the public since March of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.