Cousin accused in Bridgeport shooting

Exterior, Fairfield County Courthouse on Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, Conn.

Exterior, Fairfield County Courthouse on Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, Conn.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

BRIDGEPORT — A local man is accused of shooting his cousin in the legs and stealing his money rather than helping him locate his stolen car.

George “Go” Mercer, 24, of Stratford Avenue, was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and fifth-degree larceny.

During Mercer’s arraignment on Friday afternoon, Assistant State’s Attorney Felicia Valentino urged Superior Court Judge Peter McShane to set a high bond on Mercer because of the serious nature of the allegations.

The judge agreed and ordered Mercer held in lieu of $750,000 bond. He continued the case to May 25.

On March 29, police said officers were dispatched to Orange Street on reports of a shooting. When officers got to the scene, police said they found 33-year-old Aaron Freelove lying on the ground in a pool of blood. Freelove was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Police said after recovering in the hospital, Freelove told them he had been shot by a man he identified as his cousin who he only knew by the nickname Go. Police said they were able to identify Go as Mercer from surveillance video.

Police said Freelove’s 1996 Mercury sedan had been stolen in Waterbury and Freelove told them that Mercer had allegedly volunteered to help him recover the car for $1,000.

Mercer later called Freelove and allegedly told him he had found the car and the two agreed to meet to exchange the money for the car, police continued.

However, police said instead of producing the car, Mercer allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot Freelove in both legs.

Mercer then allegedly took the $1,000 from the victim and fled, police said.