Southington robbery victim identifies childhood friend as suspect; police discover second suspect killed in separate shooting

Zach Murdock, Hartford Courant
·2 min read

A 19-year-old New Britain man has been arrested and charged for his involvement in a violent August robbery in Southington after one of the two victims in the case identified the man as a childhood friend.

Karon Grimes taken into Southington police custody Wednesday and charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit to both of those crimes, police said.

Police had identified a second suspect, who allegedly threatened and then pistol whipped one victim, but that man was killed in a shooting on Oct. 12 before police had obtained a warrant for his arrest. Officials did not release further information about that man.

The incident late the night of Aug. 21, when officers were called to Mark Drive for a report of a large group of people fighting, Southington police Lt. Keith Egan said. Officers found the area quiet and no signs of any kind of altercation.

Investigators later learned two victims went to a party on Mark Drive and left after only a few minutes, Egan said. On their way back to their car, they were asked by a man in a parked car if they wanted to smoke.

The victims did not respond and two men got out of the SUV and called one of the victims by name, Egan said. That is when the victim recognized Grimes as a childhood friend, so they greeted one another and Grimes opened the trunk of the vehicle.

When the victim looked up from the trunk, the second suspect pulled out a pistol, pointed it at the victim’s head and made a threat, Egan said.

“Gimme your [expletive], I’m gonna cap you,” the man told the victim, according to a police report. “I’m going to [expletive] kill you.”

Both victims turned over their shoes, a watch, an iPhone 11, a satchel, a wallet, cash and their credit and debit cards, Egan said. The second victim was then pistol whipped before the two suspects walked back to their SUV and drove away.

The victims identified Grimes, both as a childhood friend and from a photo array, and investigators were able to identify the second suspect only to learn he was killed a few weeks after the robbery, Egan said.

Police eventually obtained an arrest warrant for Grimes on Oct. 28 and took him into custody this week. He remained in custody in lieu of $350,000 bond.

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

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