STAMFORD — A former co-captain of the Stamford High School football team was shot to death near an I-95 overpass on the West Side, marking the city’s first homicide in 18 months.
Antonio Robinson, 18, who was set to graduate from Stamford Academy in June, was gunned down at West and Baxter avenues on Thursday night just before 9 p.m., Capt. Richard Conklin said Friday. He declined to discuss the circumstances of Robinson’s shooting, or a possible motive.
Robinson, who played for the Knights in the 2016-17 season, was remembered by his football coaches on Friday as a smaller player with a big heart.
“He wasn’t the biggest kid out there, but he played with a lot of heart and soul,” said Knights coach Jamar Greene, who was also Robinson’s 6th-grade reading teacher at Cloonan Middle School. “He gave it everything he got.”
In a statement, Stamford Academy Director Andrea Weller called Robinson “an avid athlete...who was deeply loved by our community. His bright smile, infectious laugh, and kind heart will forever be remembered.”
Another Knights football coach, Raul Font, said Robinson had a positive attitude.
“He always had a smile on his face when he came to practice," Font said. “He was very straightforward and always told you how he was doing. He was very respectful and was an awesome, awesome kid.”
During a press conference for National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday at the government center, which had been scheduled weeks ago, the crowd held a moment of silence for Robinson.
Mayor David Martin pointed out the irony of the killing taking place the night before National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
“We often take for granted how safe our community has become, but the homicide that occurred yesterday serves as a sad reminder that gun violence can occur anywhere,” he said in a statement. “We must all do our job to keep our city and children safe.”
Stamford’s last homicide occurred 18 months ago when Elmer Gomez Ruano allegedly strangled his estranged wife, Dionicia Bautista-Cano, in a Glenbrook apartment on Nov. 13, 2016.
Lt. Tom Barcello, who worked Robinson’s case through Thursday night and Friday, said investigators are working nonstop to make an arrest.
“We are heavy into this,” Barcello said.
Font said Robinson wasn’t the type of kid to get into trouble.
“What happened was a real shame. I’m getting choked up. He was a real good kid and was never looking for trouble,” Font said.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call the station at 203-977-4420.