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Victim in Manchester Restaurant Shooting Dies

Norris Jackson, the cook at a Manchester restaurant who was shot at his job Saturday afternoon, died on New Year’s Eve, police said Monday.

Jackson, 36, and a father of seven, was pronounced dead at Hartford Hospital, police said. Detectives are saying nothing about the motive, but have concluded it was an isolated incident and not a random attack.

“We are still investigating the details of what led up to the shooting,” Manchester police Capt. Christopher Davis said Monday.

Detectives are searching for James Goolsby, 28, and Leanne Robitaille, 23, both of Manchester, in connection to the shooting at Bonchon Chicken, a Korean restaurant in the Plaza at Buckland Hills.

The shooting shook the bustling shopping plaza. The two suspects fled and police consider them armed and dangerous.

“I hope they find them. I have no hate in my heart, but I want them to get justice through the court system — my grandchildren don’t need to be thinking that these people are out walking around,” said Barbara Turner, Jackson’s grieving mother.

“He was an awesome son, an awesome dad and brother, and he was someone people really loved. You hear that all the time, but it was true,” she said surrounded by several of her grandchildren at her Hartford apartment Monday afternoon.

Jackson, who grew up in the city, was living with several of his children, his girlfriend and her three youngsters in East Hartford, but recently moved back to Hartford, Turner said. He’d landed the job at Bonchon over the summer.

“On the Thursday before Christmas, he convinced me to come have lunch with him. I brought the Christmas gifts to leave with him, he cooked me some chicken wings — they were awesome,” she recalled. “That was the last time I saw my son alive.”

She said Monday that she had decided to let surgeons harvest his organs so that others would benefit.

“He’s making a difference in somebody’s life — my son lives on in other people,” she said.

Bonchon Chicken, an international fried chicken franchise based in South Korea, put out a brief statement on its company Facebook page.

“We at Bonchon Franchise are deeply saddened by the tragic shooting in Manchester, CT today, and are deeply concerned about the family and friends who are suffering,” the post reads. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and their family as we also respect their privacy during this ordeal.”

The Manchester restaurant said on Facebook it would be closed until further notice, and a mid-day phone call there went unanswered.

Manchester police are asking anyone with knowledge of Saturday’s events to contact Detective Claire Hearn at 860-645-5549.

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