A newborn girl will never be walked down the aisle and will never meet her father. Harrisburg police have identified Saturday's homicide victim as 27-year-old Dion Britton. Britton's wife told abc27 News the two had a baby this month.
Britton's Facebook cover photo showed his hands wrapped around his newborn baby. His wife Chelsea said she was born on December 3. Police report this new dad's joy was short lived; Britton was murdered over the weekend.
Authorities said the 27-year-old died at Harrisburg Hospital from a gunshot wound to the chest.
"Just one more person that has not made it to their 30's yet because of violence," Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick said.
During a press conference Monday, Hetrick said family members took Britton to the hospital. Police said he was shot just before 10 p.m. Saturday night. Investigators were unable to shed more light into who pulled the trigger or a possible motive in this case.
According to a Harrisburg police news release, the suspect was an "unknown black male." No description and no clues were given as the manhunt and investigation continues.
Chelsea Britton said she married Dion in April and described her late husband as "the love of my life."
Britton's death is Harrisburg 11th homicide of 2012 and the ninth by gun violence. During the city's weekly public safety briefing, Captain Colin Cleary spoke about the type of guns officers typically see.
"Most of what we come across are handguns," Cleary said. "We've had a variety of instances where we've come across assault weapons, legally and illegally."
Of course, since Friday's heinous carnage at an elementary school in Connecticut, the discussion has turned to gun control and reinstating the nation's federal assault weapon ban that dissolved in 2004.
According to Hetrick, those types of guns are not widely used in the fatal gunshot wounds he sees on his examiner's table.
"Most of the time when we see weapons at scenes they're not assault weapons," Hetrick said. "I think since 1990 I've seen one Mack-10. They're out there, but not often."
In July, Harrisburg police reported 99 illegal guns were recovered. The department was unable to give an updated number when this story was written.
Mayor Linda Thompson's Illegal Gun Stoppers program has only recovered a handful of guns at best, but Hetrick maintains this is an issue that goes beyond legislation. Violence, he explained, deals with our culture.
"The gun did not drive itself to Harrisburg, decide it picked up somebody and then shot them," he said.
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