A man accused of shooting to death the operator of a scooter on Tuesday and wounding his passenger said he fired in self defense, according to statements he allegedly made to officers.
Police reports say Kyle T. Freitag said he thought the passenger was reaching to his waistband to retrieve a gun.
Police say Freitag was in the front passenger seat of a van that pulled alongside the slow moving shooter on Ft. Point Street when he shot both riders.
The 19-year-old male scooter operator was shot in the neck and pronounced dead upon arrival Norwalk Hospital. His 18-year-old male passenger was shot in the back and survived.
At the scene, the passenger said he could not feel his legs. A witness told police the scooter crashed into a curb and both occupants fell off of it. He said the passenger began crawling using his arms, with his legs not moving.
Freitag allegedly expressed bitterness that two close friends were shot to death by members of the "Rolling 20's/MG" gang, and said the scooter's
passenger belonged to that group.
In various reports concerning the shooting, officers identified both the operator of the scooter and his passenger as members of the "Rolling 20's/MG" gang.
Freitag, formally a Norwalk resident who now resides in Bridgeport, allegedly told officers he lives in constant fear because members of the "Rolling 20's/MG" gang intend to kill him.
Police reported Freitag said he came to Norwalk Tuesday reluctantly, but had to help his father, who's a carpenter, on an emergency job. He reportedly said it was coincidence that he encountered the scooter's passenger while in the van.
Freitag allegedly said that with the passenger apparently reaching for a gun, he had to"take control," and admitted firing two shots. He reportedly said he didn't know if he hit either riders before the van sped off.
He allegedly said didn't know the scooter's operator.
The shooting on Ft. Point Street in East Norwalk was reported at 5:35 p.m. Officers taped off a crime scene on Ft. Point Street about a block long, running from Van Zant Street to Seaview Avenue.
Numerous people witnessed the shooting and provided police with a detailed description of the white Dodge Caravan Freitag was in. Norwalk Police broadcast the description on the county hotline and minutes later a state trooper reported to be following it northbound on Interstate 95.
The van got off at Exit 19 and several troopers stopped it on Center Street in Fairfield.
Officers reported finding a .32-caliber Rossi six-shot revolver in a storage compartment beneath the passenger's seat. They said the gun had four live rounds and two spent rounds.
The van was being driven by Freitag's friend, Terrence J. Baxter of Norwalk.
Baxter allegedly began to flee when the van was stopped and a trooper shot him with a Taser stun gun that brought him to the ground.
In his report, Det. Sgt. Thomas Roncinske wrote, "Kyle Freitag confessed to shooting at the two victims. One was murdered and the other wounded."
Freitag, of 2148 Seaview Ave., and Baxter, of 44 Bayview Ave., were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, criminal possession of a firearm, conspiracy to criminally possess a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, conspiracy to possess a firearm without a permit, possessing weapons in a motor vehicle, and conspiracy to possess weapons in a motor vehicle.
Bond for both was set at $750,000.
Baxter allegedly was found to be in possession of crack cocaine, so he additionally was charged with possession of crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell, misuse of a license plate, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.
Bond on these charges was set at $100,000.
Police said the license plate on the van came back to a 1995 Pontiac Gran Am registered toFreitag. The said Freitag recently purchased the van.
For allegedly fleeing when the van was stopped, State Police charged Baxter with misdemeanor interfering with an officer.
Both were arraigned Wednesday in State Superior Court in Norwalk.
During their appearance, Judge William J. Wenzel transferred their cases to state court in Stamford where more serious charges are adjudicated. Both are scheduled to appear in court there Nov. 13.