FAIRFIELD — An elaborate surveillance operation by Fairfield police launched in the predawn hours Friday paid off with the arrests in the evening of two suspects in the recent shooting death of a young father at Travion Court.
Police confirmed the arrests but declined to identify the suspects. They said the investigation was ongoing and expected to last through most of the night.
Officers had been searching for the killers of 27-year-old Gustavo Banda, who died shortly after he made his way to the emergency room of NorthBay Medical Center at around 10:40 p.m. April 19 accompanied by a 15-year-old boy who had also been shot.
One of the targets of the surveillance was a Vel Place duplex near Woolner Avenue. One of the suspects was seen driving to the duplex in the afternoon.
After confirming the identification of the suspect, a team of police officers swarmed the duplex shortly after 6:30 p.m. They had seen three other men there a short time earlier.
With many rifles and guns aimed at them, three men from the house followed police commands and came out of the house one at a time, surrendering to authorities. A fourth man remained in the house, prompting police to call out a SWAT team to storm the duplex.
As SWAT team members were staging in front of the house, the fourth man came to the open front doorway and surrendered. Taking no chances, the SWAT team searched the house, announcing their entry with shouts and a flash-bang device that was tossed into the entryway. The search turned up no one else in the house.
With the four men sitting in separate police cars, a search of the house began but was interrupted when a Ford Expedition linked to their investigation was seen a short distance away, driving toward the duplex.
The Ford was stopped as it turned onto Vel Place and several police officers rushed the car, guns drawn, surrounding it. Six women were taken out of the Ford, one at a time. At least one of them was arrested while some of them were later released. One juvenile was turned over to her upset mother shortly before 9 p.m.
The Ford and a sedan at the duplex were later towed by police and several pieces of evidence were taken from the duplex during a search that took several hours.
All four men from the house were taken to the police station.
Lt. Stephen Crane said late Friday night that no information about the investigation would be released until Saturday.
Banda’s sister said earlier this week that Banda, a father of two, had been set up just before the shooting by a phone call he received while at a party at a Travion Court residence.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.