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Middletown Man Charged In Connection with 2017 Cold Case Murder in New Britain


(Rocky Hill, CT) – Chief State’s Attorney Patrick J. Griffin announced today the arrest of Michael B. Coleman, age 30, of Middletown, in connection with the 2017 fatal shooting of Gabriel “Bebo” Pereira in New Britain following a joint investigation by the Cold Case Unit of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office and the New Britain Police Department. 

According to court records, New Britain Police received several reports of shots fired at 396 Park Street at 9:06 p.m. on August 1, 2017. Responding officers determined that Pereira, age 32, was attending a birthday party at that location and had stepped outside when he was shot in the head. Police found Pereira laying on the ground near the front porch surrounded by family who were attempting to render aid. Emergency officials transported Pereira to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased. 

Following an extensive investigation that included following up on tips, the close examination of video surveillance footage and cellphone records and conducting numerous witness interviews, as well as an extensive Grand Jury Investigation, authorities arrested Coleman and charged him with Murder in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-54a(a) and § 53a-8.

Coleman was arraigned today in New Britain Superior Court and a $5 million bond was set. At this time, the charges are merely accusations and Coleman is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

“This arrest exemplifies the dedication and persistence of the Division’s Cold Case Unit, the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office and the New Britain Police Department in ensuring that those responsible for the homicide of Mr. Pereira are brought to justice,” Chief State’s Attorney Griffin said.

Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney John F. Fahey, head of the Cold Case Unit, is grateful to investigators in the Cold Case Unit, the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office, the New Britain Police Department and the state Department of Correction, Security Division, for their continued commitment to this investigation.

“The investigators in this case worked hard to find those responsible for the death of Mr. Pereira,” Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Fahey said. “It’s been more than six years since Mr. Pereira’s murder and throughout that time, our goal here in the Cold Case Unit was to bring justice to Mr. Pereira’s family. This arrest shows the Cold Case Unit’s continued commitment to work tirelessly to resolve each case that comes before us.”

The Cold Case Unit is comprised of prosecutors and investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice who work closely on cold cases with the Connecticut State Police and municipal police departments. The Cold Case Unit in the Office of the Chief State's Attorney currently includes Inspectors from the Division of Criminal Justice as well as investigators from the Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police, East Hartford Police Department, Willimantic Police Department and Connecticut Department of Correction. For more information about the Unit, visit the Division of Criminal Justice’s website or the Unit’s Facebook page.