Bridgeport homicide victim’s mother: ‘I never got to say goodbye’
BRIDGEPORT — Sujata Lee Edwards’ mother struggled Wednesday with the sudden, violent death of her child.
“I never got to say goodbye to my daughter,” Llesha O’Connor said. “That’s my baby. She’s 36 years old.”
O’Connor said her daughter’s two children were with their mother when Edwards was gunned down Tuesday night through the window of their William Street home.
There had been a fight outside the home earlier in the evening, involving Edwards’ son and an ex-girlfriend who brought a large group of people with her, O’Connor said. Once the fight ended, the group left, she said.
But the family suspects they came back later, armed.
Edwards was shot as she looked out the second-floor window while her 17-year-old daughter was walking to the teen’s father’s car, O’Connor said.
“My daughter went to that window up there to watch her daughter get in her father’s car and bullets just started coming,” O’Connor said. “I sat and watched my daughter get hit with a bullet in her chest, maybe more than one, and she fell.”
No arrests have been made.
Samaris Rose, a friend, said Edwards “loved everybody” and was nicknamed “Smile.”
“She never frowned,” Rose said. “You’d always see her smile.”
“This is ridiculous and it’s senseless,” said Karen Fletcher, Edwards’ cousin. “It’s senseless and it needs to stop.”
Caregiver’s Home Soultions in Stratford, which provides in-home care to seniors, said in a Facebook post Wednesday that Edwards had started working there about a year ago. The post said Edwards was a CNA for 17 years.
“As with any loss of life, there is an emptiness that is hard to fill,” said the post from Caregiver’s Home Soultions. “We will miss Sujata, with her eagerness and warm smile, and pray that her family can find comfort in the life she lived in her brief 36 years as mother, daughter, sibling and caregiver.”
While friends and relatives identified Edwards as the woman who was killed, Bridgeport Police Capt. Brian Fitzgerald, who heads the Detective Bureau, said the victim’s name would not officially be released until after an autopsy was performed Wednesday.
Fitzgerald also said, “We don’t know at this point if she was an accidental victim or an intended target. We’ve got a lot of work to do today; we’re still early into this.”
The woman was shot at least once in the torso, Fitzgerald said Tuesday night. He said officers did CPR on her and helped medics until she was transported to Bridgeport Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“My heart’s broken,” Police Chief Armando Perez said Tuesday. “We need to change this. It’s total disregard for human life. We gotta change this.”
Edwards is the fourth victim of homicide — the first female — in Bridgeport so far in 2019, and the second to die this week. Eric Salters, 28, who was shot on Jan. 26, died Monday.
Eugene Rogers, 50, was fatally shot on Jan. 27. Razzie Hancock, 39, was stabbed to death on Jan. 14. Arrests have been made in the cases for Rogers and Hancock.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Detective Winkler at 203-581-5224 or call the Bridgeport Police Tips Line at 203-576-TIPS.
CORRECTION: Initially police said the homicide victim was 37. Police and family confirmed Wednesday she was 36.