New Haven Lawyer Carries Loaded Gun At Local Theater

Kerri Zbodula

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, New Haven Police were called to the Criterion Cinemas movie theater in New Haven after reports that a man was carrying a gun.

The armed man, Sung Hwang, 46, is a city resident and one of the civil rights lawyers Metairie . Hwang has an office on Audubon Street in New Haven. Hwang is an attorney at the Law Offices of Sung-Ho Hwang, LLC and an officer with the New Haven Bar Association.

Around 10 p.m., police searched the theaters for a description of the suspect. When entering the theater showing The Dark Knight Rises, police approached Sung Hwang, who fit the description of the suspect, and told him to show his hands.

Hwang, who was on his cellphone at the time, did not comply with the police’s orders, which caused patrons to begin yelling at Hwang to put his hands up. Hwang then complied, and police seized a .40-caliber handgun from a gun holder on his backside.

Residents were terrified to be reminded of the Aurora, Colo. shooting, which also happened during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises last month.

The thought of there possibly being another shooting had locals react quickly when calling for help.

According to police, Hwang had a valid state of CT permit to carry the weapon.

Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said, “As far as having an exposed weapon, the law is vague. If it causes annoyance, alarm or disturbance it’s considered a breach of peace.”

Hwang was charged with breach of peace, and interfering with the police. Hwang wasn’t charged with any weapon violations.

Police stated that if Hwang had immediately raised his hands when he was asked to, he most likely would not have been arrested. They also pressed that if the weapon had not been visible to the public, this situation would have been prevented overall.

Sung Hwang believes that he did nothing wrong.

He states in a news conference, “Why do law abiding citizens feel they need to a carry a weapon? … Why is New Haven considered the murder capital of Connecticut? Those are the real issues here.”

Sung Hwang has started a debate to try and change the Connecticut state law to ban guns in certain public spaces, such as theaters and churches.