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Person of interest named after mother of Olympic athlete killed by stray bullet

(WATERBURY, Conn.) — Connecticut police are searching for the gunmen responsible for the fatal shooting of the mother of an Olympian, who was sewing inside her home when she was struck by a stray bullet.

Officers from the Waterbury Police Department responded to the home of Mabel Martinez Antongiori on Saturday around 1:15 p.m. after receiving reports of shots fired in the area near Orange and Walnut Streets, Lt. Ryan Bessette, public information officer for the Waterbury Police Department, told ABC News.

Antongiori, 56, was found with a gunshot wound to her head and taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in critical condition, Bessette said. Shortly after, police received a call from Waterbury Hospital detailing a 35-year-old man who had been walking in the area and was struck in the leg, Bessette said. Investigators also discovered that the home at 42 Orange Street was also struck by bullets, but no one there was injured, he added.

Antongiori, the mother of Yarimar Mercado Martinez, a rifle shooter who represented Puerto Rico in the 2016 and 2021 summer games, succumbed to her injuries the next day and died, Bessette said.

She was sewing at the time she was struck, Martinez, 27, wrote on Facebook, adding that her mother “did not deserve” what happened to her.

“This pain I feel exceeds any pain I’ve felt in my life,” Martinez wrote.

Investigators were able to determine that a Black Honda Accord and white Acura sedan were involved in a drug-related altercation, in which occupants in the Honda were shooting at the other car, Bessette said.

The owner of the Honda Accord, Levi Brock, 34, of New Haven, has been named a person of interest, Bessette said, adding that he has been convicted of multiple felonies, including reckless endangerment, cruelty to animals and felony assault and is currently on probation. Investigators are currently working with Brock’s probation officer to locate him so they may question him.

Police have found both cars, which are pending search warrants, and the Honda Accord was located in New Haven Monday with a firearm inside, Bessette said. The owner and other occupants of the Acura sedan are “all known to Waterbury PD,” Bessette said.

Twenty-five shell casings, some from a 9-millimeter firearm and others from a 45-caliber, were recovered from the scene, Bessette said.

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