VERNON — The girlfriend of the man accused of fatally shooting the owner of a local motel Sunday in an argument over a $10 pool pass told police he had “made the handgun” about a month earlier, according to a police report.
The report, by Vernon police Detective Michael D. Patrizz, also quotes the girlfriend of murder suspect Alvin Waugh, 31, as saying he “would play around with the gun all the time” and that it had a laser on it.
The woman told police that Waugh had “severe anger issues” and would talk about going to “war” and using the gun.
Vernon police Sgt. Robert Marra declined to comment Monday on whether the gun was a “ghost gun,” made from parts and lacking a serial number, saying only that the investigation remained active.
Killed in the shooting, which was reported to police a few minutes before 4 p.m. Sunday, was Zeshan Chaudhry, 30, a Vernon resident and owner of the Motel 6 at 51 Hartford Tpke. where the shooting occurred.
Police documents list Waugh’s address as being in Hartford but his girlfriend told police they had been staying at the motel for about a month.
In Superior Court on Monday, Judge Hope C. Seeley cut Waugh’s bond from the $5 million on which he had been held overnight by police to $2 million. Tolland State’s Attorney Matthew C. Gedansky had asked the judge to leave the bond at $5 million, while a bail commissioner and public defender Kathryn Mallach called for a $1 million bond.
Waugh was an inmate today at the Hartford Correctional Center, according to the state Department of Correction’s website.
No past convictions
Waugh has no criminal conviction on his record, although Gedansky said he has had two past cases “nolled,” or dropped.
The prosecutor called the case against Waugh “very strong.” At least two people witnessed the shooting, it was recorded on surveillance video, and Waugh signed a written confession, Patrizz reported.
The prosecutor said Waugh went to retrieve the gun before shooting Chaudhry multiple times.
He conceded that Waugh was cooperative during the investigation Sunday night but added that the gun used in the shooting was recovered only “by great effort of law enforcement.”
Waugh told police by telephone before his arrest that he had dropped the gun in “a body of water,” according to the police report, which adds that the gun was later recovered from the body of water he described. The report doesn’t identify the body of water, but Marra said it was the Hockanum River.
Patrizz reported that Waugh’s girlfriend described the incident as follows: She said the couple had been hanging around the pool area and decided they wanted to go swimming. She said she went inside to talk to Chaudhry about getting access to the pool.
The girlfriend said Chaudhry told her she had to pay $10 for a “pool pass,” adding that she offered him $5, which he refused to take. As she walked away, she said, Chaudhry followed her into the hallway where they continued to argue.
She then went outside to where she and Waugh had been hanging out. More arguing ensued — involving both of them and another motel guest — because Chaudhry believed an employee had given her the $5 she offered before. She quoted Chaudhry as saying he wanted to know the employee’s identity so he could fire the person.
Waugh fled after ‘pops’
Chaudhry told the couple he was kicking them out of the motel, at which point she believed Waugh ran to their room and got a gun. She said he returned and the argument continued. She said Chaudhry was “antagonizing them to fight” when she heard several “pop” sounds, followed by Waugh running away.
A police officer viewed security camera footage that showed the argument, Waugh leaving for his room, coming out with his right hand in his pocket, returning and resuming the argument for about a minute. Waugh then took the gun from his pocket and fired several rounds into Chaudhry before running out of camera range, according to the detective’s report.
The footage shows several children and adults close by in the pool area at the time of the shooting, the detective adds.
Waugh’s girlfriend tried to phone him several times from the scene, but he didn’t answer, the detective reported.
After several minutes, Waugh called her back and spoke to a police officer, saying he had run into the woods about a mile away and was now on his way back. He said he wanted to surrender and didn’t have the gun because he had dropped it in a body of water, the detective reported.
Waugh stayed on the speakerphone with his girlfriend, providing updates on his location, until reporting that he was on the road in the area of a Subway sandwich shop. Two police officers took him into custody without incident.
The detective’s report says Waugh confessed in a written statement but doesn’t detail the confession.
In addition to the murder count, Waugh is facing felony charges of risk of injury to a child, commission of a Class A, B, or C felony with a firearm, evidence tampering, criminal use of a weapon, and carrying a pistol without a permit. He is also facing a misdemeanor count of first-degree reckless endangerment,
In arguing for the $1 million bond, Mallach said Waugh has much family in the area and has a “strong work history,” although she acknowledged that he has struggled lately. An arrest report lists his occupation as “delivery driver” for a ride-sharing service.