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Suspect in January Armed Robbery Caught in Florida

Police say drug dealer was shot while engaged in a narcotics sale outside Kendall Elementary School.

A former city man police suspect of participating in the armed robbery last month of a drug dealer outside Kendall Elementary School has been captured in Jacksonville, Florida.

In a news release, Norwalk Police say Kareem Leach was taken into custody shortly before 1 p.m. Friday by members of U.S. Marshall Violent Fugitive Task Forces based in Connecticut and Florida.

Leach, 26, faces extradition back to Connecticut on charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and conspiracy.

Officers were dispatched to Norwalk Hospital the evening of Sunday, Jan. 13, on a report from the Emergency Department that a man was being treated there for a gunshot wound to the leg. The 25-year-old victim told officers he was shot while two men were robbing him in the parking lot of the school at 55 Fillow St.

A day after the robbery, police arrested Anthony Jean-Pierre by warrant, accusing him of committing the robbery with Leach. Jean-Pierre, 19, of 15 Prowitt St., was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and conspiracy.

Jean-Pierre is currently being held on $101,000 bond and is next scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Stamford Feb. 13.

Following Jean-Pierre’s arrest, Det. Sgt. Thomas Roncinske said police believed he and Leach met the dealer at the school under the pretense of wanting to purchase drugs from him.

"When they were in the process of doing the deal, Leach pulled out a gun and attempted to rob the people in the car," said Roncinske. "That went wrong and the subject was shot."

"(Leach) has an extensive criminal history," said Roncinske. "His last arrest was for shooting somebody."

He said Leach was also a suspect in a shooting that occurred in Bridgeport last October involving robbing drug dealers.

Leach is a former resident of the Colonial Village housing project on Suncrest Road.

In Friday’s release, Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said, “We are very appreciative of the efforts of the United States Marshals Service who utilized their nationwide resources in assisting us in tracking down this fugitive who had fled the Connecticut area shortly after the incident.”

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