Grand jury witnesses detail moments leading up to 2019 robbery that left one man dead, New Haven police captain seriously wounded

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More than a half-dozen confidential witnesses testified before a secret state grand jury this spring about the exact moments they saw a man rob and murder 46-year-old Troy Clark before firing on off-duty New Haven police Capt. Anthony Duff as he tried to intervene, new court records reveal.

Several of the witnesses were with Clark as he was confronted in August 2019 by Albert E. Eaddy, whom they also knew, and apparently surprised investigators when they conceded under oath that they actually witnessed Eaddy shoot Clark, according to an arrest warrant affidavit unsealed Tuesday and released publicly for the first time.

The seldom-used state grand jury process gave police the ability to compel those witnesses to testify before a judge, behind closed doors, when they otherwise might not have spoken to police and their testimony ultimately provided investigators a detailed picture of what occurred that evening, the records show.

The man who had been with Clark at the time he was killed initially denied he had witnessed the murder in the weeks after the incident, but when called before the grand jury this year, he admitted for the first time that he had been robbed by Eaddy, too, and was just four feet away when Eaddy fired on Clark, records show.

“I seen him shoot him in the head,” the man, referred to only as Confidential Witness 7, testified this spring. “Seen him shoot him in the head, judge.”

Eaddy has been charged with felony murder, two counts of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and criminal possession of a firearm. He already was in jail on a special parole violation and appeared Tuesday before a judge in the New Haven Judicial District.

Acting New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez announced the charges against Eaddy late last month — just over two years after the shooting — alongside Clark’s family and the since-retired Duff, who was shot three times trying to help Clark and survived after undergoing multiple surgeries over the course of 10 days in the hospital.

The records unsealed Tuesday offer the first glimpse into the years-long investigation and revealed prosecutors went through the arduous and relatively rare process of empaneling a state grand jury to extract information about the case more than 18 months later.

The incident itself began the night of Aug. 12, 2019, when Clark and the man known as Confidential Witness 7 were confronted by Eaddy near a package store on Henry Street and Dixwell Avenue, court records show.

Eaddy demanded money from Clark and beat him when he protested, essentially ripping all his clothes off his body and brandishing a gun at both men. Witnesses reported hearing Clark beg Eaddy not to hurt him before several gunshots rang out and all the nearby people who could flee did, according to the warrant affidavit.

Duff was off duty and just happened to be driving down Dixwell Avenue at Henry Street when he heard the first gunshot and turned to see one man shoot another laying on the ground on Henry, Duff testified. Duff radioed police dispatch about the crime in progress and got out of his personal vehicle with his personal weapon drawn to confront the shooter.

After a momentary standoff, the shooter ran and fired backward at Duff, who was struck several times but still broadcast where the shooter ran as almost every police officer in the city descended on his “officer down” signal, the records show.

The massive police response remained in the area for days after the shooting as local and state police detectives scoured the neighborhood for witnesses and evidence and tracked down items that belonged to both Clark and the shooter, the warrant affidavit details.

Investigators immediately received tips from confidential informants about two potential suspects: Eaddy and another man known to frequent the area of the shooting, records show.

Several witnesses did not identify Eaddy in photo lineups and Duff had not gotten a look at the shooter’s face, focusing on his gun instead, records show.

The other man informants suspected also had an alibi, confirmed by security camera footage at the stores he and a woman visited at the time of the shooting. DNA testing also eliminated the second suspect, but multiple tests could not conclusively match Eaddy’s sample to items found at the scene, records show.

But during grand jury testimony this spring, several of the people who were with Clark finally detailed under oath what they had seen that night.

One man who saw the fatal shooting never came forward to police because he was afraid, until he was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury and consulted with his pastor, according to the affidavit. He knew all the men involved and had spoken with Clark and Confidential Witness 7 just before the shooting occurred at the package store, he testified.

He stood on the opposite street corner as the fight turned deadly and said testified he was “100% sure” Eaddy had shot Clark.

“[Confidential Witness 8] explained that he did not want to get in trouble for perjury and ‘just wanted to do the right thing,’ " according to the affidavit. “When asked whether his testimony was truthful, CW8 stated ‘Yes it is the truth, the God honest truth.’ "

The lengthy investigation finally ended on the final day of August, when Eaddy was served with the new charges in connection with Clark’s death and Duff’s injuries.

“Today’s a bittersweet day, for not only my family, but for officer Duff and also his family, because, you know, we’re all human,” Veronica Clark, Troy Clark’s sister, said at the time. “But when you take crime into your own hand, you have to pay. You have to pay the price.”

Zach Murdock can be reached at zmurdock@courant.com.

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