When two strangers broke into David Hicks’ home in East Hartford, Connecticut last June, it wasn’t a random event. According to Hicks, one of the two individuals actually asked if he “was David” before attacking him as he sat on the couch watching television. But almost one year after Hicks shot the two intruders in self-defense, police say the investigation is still open, and Hicks believes there’s at least one other person who has managed to elude authorities after firing shots at his home.
It’s extraordinarily rare for local news outlets to go back and revisit an armed citizen story after the fact, so kudos to Jesse Leavenworth of CTInsider for the followup to Hicks’ encounter. I’ve said before that I don’t know of a single gun owner who’s hoping that they become the victim of a violent crime just so they can use their gun to defend their life, and that’s definitely true of Hicks, who is still haunted by the fact that he had to deploy deadly force to protect himself… especially given the young ages of the home invaders.
Police have said the fatal shootings of Isaiah Jose Lopez, 16, of Hartford, and Isaiah Miguel Nevarez, 15, of Meriden, happened during the targeted home invasion of David Hicks’s Graham Road home June 16, 2022.
“If I get going talking about it, it starts to (mess) with me,” Hicks, 31, said in an interview with Hearst CT Media. “I don’t sleep the same. I don’t think the same. I’m never comfortable; I’m always on edge.”
Hicks shot the two with a registered firearm and there are no pending charges against him, police spokesperson Officer Marc Caruso said.
The investigation remains active, Caruso said. At the time of the shooting, police Lt. John DuPont said the cops were looking for one or more armed people who may have been involved and possibly left the scene. Deputy Chief Josh Litwin said later that day that detectives “have not eliminated the possibility that another (person or persons) may have been involved.” Caruso said he could not comment.
Hicks tells CTInsider that police have stopped providing him with any updates to the investigation, and he fears the trail may have run cold despite his suspicions about what led to the home invasion and the possibility of a third suspect who shot at his home.
The father of three said he was alone in the duplex that night, talking on the phone with a former spouse, a handgun tucked into a couch cup holder within reach. Hicks said he grew up with firearms and has always kept guns in his home.
Suddenly, two masked males broke through the front door and confronted him, Hicks said. One asked, “Are you David?” Then one male jumped on top of him while he was still on the couch, Hicks said, so he grabbed his handgun and fired two shots into that teen’s body. He then shot the other intruder twice, Hicks said. Autopsies later found both victims died of gunshot wounds to their torsos.
One intruder fell on the couch and never spoke or moved again, Hicks said, but the other wounded teen fell on the floor, still conscious. Hicks said he kept asking, “Who sent you? Who sent you?” The teen was mumbling incoherently, Hicks said, and he recalled telling him, “Listen bro, help’s coming; God loves you.”
The teenager’s last words before the paramedics arrived were directed to his mother, but Hicks said sharing that dying message would not be appropriate. He said he heard later that the intruders, whom he did not know, were sent to “jump him” in connection with a dispute Hicks was having with a former girlfriend. Police have not commented on a motive for the home invasion.
After the shooting, Hicks said he hid in a corner of his house, expecting more attackers, until police arrived. He said he did not realize until later, when he found bullets in his walls, that someone had fired shots into the house from outside.
While Hicks was able to save himself, his life has still been forever changed by the home invasion. He says he sees less of his three kids than he did before out of concern that he may still be in danger and told CTInsider that he scans his neighborhood looking for strange vehicles every time he comes home, calling it a “a (expletive) nightmare every day.”
I hope that one day Hicks is able to get the answers and justice that he deserves, and that whoever put the teens up to the home invasion faces accountability and consequences for own actions. In the meantime, while Hicks’ life may not be anything close to what it was before the sanctity of his home was violated, he is thankfully still here. I don’t know if that would have been the case if he didn’t have access to his firearm on that summer evening last year. I’m sure that Hicks wishes none of this had ever happened, but we don’t get to choose whether we’re the victim of a violent crime. Hicks made the right call in protecting his life, even if he (and police) are still looking for answers about why he was targeted to begin with.