Hartford, Connecticut (WFSB) — Dozens gathered in two separate candlelight vigils for the man killed by police gunfire last Thursday in New Britain.
Police said 20-year-old Bloomfield resident, Zoe Dowdell was shot and killed in New Britain last Thursday evening after the driver of the car he was in refused to comply with police orders and drove head on toward law enforcement.
In Hartford, on Sunday night, those who knew Zoe Dowdell said they are questioning the allegations. Friends know Dowdell as “Gangstalicious,” who they said was an aspiring rap music artist spreading positivity through music and dance.
“I heard about his music and it’s really sad that another Connecticut life was taken,” friend and fan of Dowdell, Angelse Jimenez said to Eyewitness News at the Lawrence Street vigil.
“It hits close to home. I just heard a lot of his music. I heard a lot about him.”
At the corner of Albany Ave and Kent Street in Hartford, family and close friends continued lighting candles into the night, and playing Dowdell’s music in his memory.
“He touched a lot of people. I just love him for that. He was awesome man, I swear. In fact, he’s going to live on forever,” said Dowdell’s brother, Hakeem Robinson.
Police attempted to stop the car in which Dowdell, an 18-year-old Noah Young, and a 15 year old were riding in on Thursday night. Police said it matched the description of a car suspected in a string of violent car jackings.
A friend of Dowdell’s told Eyewitness News that Dowdell was innocent.
“He ain’t have nothing to do with those past crimes or nothing,” said Sadiki Blake. “Oblivious to the fact that anything was even going on, he got caught in it.”
Police said both the 18-year-old and 15-year-old males are facing charges after a firearm and narcotics were found in the car.
“We all knew Zoe a different way, and it wasn’t that way,” said friend Dayjara Nelson. “We knew him as a strong individual. Somebody who was really energetic and had a lot of support especially with his music. He changed the game, especially in Connecticut and that was my friend.”
Connecticut State Police have assumed the investigation. The names of the officers involved, who have been placed on administrative leave, have yet to be revealed.
The American Civil Liberties is also asking for more transparency, including the dash-cam footage from that night.