Hartford police are trying to figure out why a 26-year-old Middletown man was found with a fatal gunshot wound in the middle of a residential apartment complex early Tuesday morning.

Hartford police identified Joseph Goiangos III, of Middletown, as the man who was found dead outside an apartment complex on Woodland Drive at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

His death is being investigated as a homicide, Hartford Lt. Paul Cicero said. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that Goiangos died from a small caliber gunshot wound to the chest, Cicero said. Hartford investigators are seeking the public's help to find out why Goiangos was killed, Cicero said.

“We have no idea as to why this individual was in this area at this time,” Cicero said.

Goiangos’ car was found on the south end of the city and police are interviewing people who knew Goiangos to determine why he was in the area, Cicero said during a 9:30 a.m. press briefing.

“We're not sure how long he was in the area,” he said.

Gioangos’ body was spotted by a local man getting ready for work who called 911 at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Cicero said.

Police found Goiangos unresponsive on the grounds of the apartment complex with a puncture wound to the chest. Police initially believed that the wound was not caused by gunfire, since it appeared to be a puncture, Cicero said. The city's ShotSpotter technology did not activate around the time Goiangros was found, Cicero said. But an autopsy revealed a bullet hole that was fired from a small caliber gun, he said.

Police are also trying to determine if Goiangos was injured at the complex or at another location. Cicero described the scene as a “garden-style” apartment complex with one entrance and one exit. There have been no other serious crimes at the complex, he said.

Gioangos was pronounced dead by emergency responders at the scene, police said.

The identification he was carrying indicated that he was a 26-year-old from Middletown, Cicero said. Hartford investigators have notified his family to confirm his identity and are now working with family members to determine his daily routine and why he would be in the Northwest section of Asylum Hill in the early morning hours.

“We're looking at several avenues,” Cicero said.

Gioangos had two pending gun cases at Middletown Superior Court when he died, records show. In one case, he was stopped by Middletown police in December for a traffic violation and it was discovered that he had a loaded BB gun and a loaded flare gun in the car with items that could be considered burglary tools, police reports said. In a second case, he was charged with the theft of firearms in connection with a June incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hartford police at 860-722-8477.