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Arrest Warrant Issued For Fatal Tyler Street Shooting

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
Police are searching for Thomas 'SoSavage' Newman, left,  in relation to Friday afternoon's shooting on Tyler Street that left Keenan S. Pellot Jr. dead and another teen seriously injured. Newman is considered armed and dangerous.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The District Attorney's Office has issued an arrest warrant for Thomas Lee Newman for the murder of Keenan S. Pellot Jr.

The 18-year-old Pellot and an unnamed 17-year-old man were shot outside of Chewy's Barber Shop on Friday afternoon. Pellot died at Berkshire Medical Center shortly after.

Newman was apparently an acquaintance of Pellott; the two were Facebook friends.

The second victim, a 17-year-old Pittsfield man, is undergoing surgery for multiple gunshots wounds, according to a statement from the district attorney's office. He is in "guarded condition" and expected to survive.

The first responders found the two men with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds when the first calls were received about a shooting at about 1:02 p.m.

"Investigators are following up on information and leads they have obtained," said Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless in the statement. "At this time, no determination has been made as to whether there is a connection between these incidents and the shootings that occurred on July 4, but that is obviously an avenue that investigators are pursuing."

Friday's shooting took place a block away from where a 17-year-old man was shot just one year ago. It is the second shooting in the city this month.

Police were canvassing the city in a massive manhunt for a man suspected in the shootings.

A BOLO (be on the lookout) came over the scanner for the 18-year-old Newman, 18, who has had previous run-ins with authorities. At least twice, Newman is listed in the police log has having an outstanding warrant. There is no indication what the warrant was for.

The BOLO reports that Newman should be approached with caution because he is considered "armed and dangerous."

On Saturday, District Attorney David Capeless issued an arrest warrant  for Newman and is seeking information on his whereabouts. Newman is being charged with murder and armed assault with intent to commit murder.

Police Chief Michael Wynn at 2:40 p.m. said dispatch received multiple calls just after 1 p.m. of shots fired in the 100 block on Tyler Street.

He confirmed that two victims had been taken to Berkshire Medical Center; authorities had not released the name or conditions of the victims at that time. 

Police and other emergency responders descended on Tyler Street at the corner of First Street, shutting down the eastbound turn lane at that intersection. State police and the sheriff's office are assisting; both Capeless and Mayor Daniel Bianchi were at the command center. The city's youth violence prevention coordinator, Adams Hinds, also was there for a time.

Pittsfield Detective Kim Bertelli is the lead on the case; anyone with information is asked to contact her at 413-448-9700,  Ext. 305.

"This isn't a normal situation, it doesn't happen often," said Bianchi. "We have a great group of law enforcement officers working on this."

Scanner reports initially indicated one person was hit on Tyler Street and another possible shooting occurred on Myrtle Street. The reports were heard over the scanner at about 1:15 p.m.

For more than an hour, police had been tracking down multiple reports of other shootings, sightings of the suspect or others who may be related to the incidents. They are searching for several different vehicles, although it is not clear if any of those were involved in the shooting.

Wynn said the investigation is very much active and was unable to provide more information at this time. He said he had not been briefed on the reported shots heard on Hull Avenue.

The mayor is asking anyone who has any knowledge to step forward.

"I just urge all citizens if they have any knowledge to please share it," he said. "I urge them to share it with the law enforcement officers working on this.

"There are a lot of good people who can't provide information ... but there are some that may be able to help."

A GoFundMe page has been established to help pay for the funeral costs for Keenan Pellot.

Police in the past have been stymied by a lack of cooperation in tracking down violent suspects. Just last week, Capeless pleaded with residents to come forward with any information related to the deadly shootings on July 4. No one has been arrested in that shooting that left a city man dead.

When asked, Bianchi on Friday afternoon did not link Friday's event with that of July 4, but acknowledged that "these things don't happen in a vacuum."

"Until we really allow the law enforcement officers to fully investigate this, we won't have any other answers," he said.

Pellot, of Bartlett Avenue, had been charged earlier this year with assault and battery after allegedly stabbing a man after vandalizing his car, purportedly with a 17-year-old accomplice, and was released on personal recognizance in early July.

A large crowd friends and relatives of the victims had been at BMC during the afternoon, some in tears. The hospital also instituted its safety protocols in light of the incident, and its proximity, said BMC spokesman Michael Leary.

"Whenever there is an incident in the community, particularly if such an incident occurs in close proximity to the medical center, we enact enhanced security measures to ensure the safety of our patients and staff," he said.

Edited at 2:55 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015 to clarify the BOLO was heard over the scanner and Chief Wynn did not confirm who police were looking for; at 3:16 to add Mayor Bianchi's comments.

Edited at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015 to update with name of victim, write-through note updates.

Edited at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2015 with new information on the issuance of an arrest warrant.

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Superior Court Briefs: July 27 - July 30

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 27.
Gabrielle Garzone, 21, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: trafficking in heroin, and conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: trafficking in cocaine.
She was released on $2,500 bail. Garzone is accused of conspiring with others to sell cocaine and heroin in Berkshire County between January 20, 2015 and March 6, 2015.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 29.
Joseph Lamb, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of armed robbery.
Lamb robbed Harte's Package Store in Pittsfield on September 14, 2014. He was ordered to serve three to six years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.
Zachary Santoro, 28, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of rape and abuse of a child, and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained age 14.
He was released on $5,000 bail. The incidents allegedly occurred in Lanesborough between June 1, 2014 and August 7, 2014. The alleged victim is a 16-year-old girl.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, July 30.
Joshua Capitanio, 33, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of infernal machine, reckless endangerment of a child, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
He was released on personal recognizance. The charges are in connection with an incident in Pittsfield on March 3, 2015.
Erich Rawlins, 31, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of armed robbery, larceny of a controlled substance, larceny over $250, larceny over $250 an ongoing and continuing offense, and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Rawlins committed armed robbery at the Elm Street Getter in Pittsfield on January 25, 2011. He also admitted to taking money on March 24, 2014, drugs on April 11, 2014, and using a stolen credit card between April 14, 2014 and May 2, 2014. Those incidents were in Pittsfield.
He was ordered to serve four to seven years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the armed robbery charge. He was given concurrent time of the other charges.
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North Adams Man Falls From Ledge in Savoy Forest

Staff Reports

SAVOY, Mass. — Numerous emergency responders came to the rescue of a 26-year-old North Adams man who fell off a ledge on Sunday in the Savoy State Forest.

The Savoy Volunteer Fire Department reports that it was called to Tannery Falls at about 6 p.m. on Sunday with Adams Ambulance Service for a report of a man who was unconscious after falling 40 feet near the falls.

Mutual aid was requested from Cheshire, Windsor and Plainfield volunteer fire departments and the Berkshire County High Angle Rescue Team for extrication. LifeNet or LifeFlight were also requested but unable to respond because of weather issues

Firefighters and emergency medical technicians walked a quarter mile to the falls and stabilized the patient. Firefighters, EMTs, and members of the Department of Conservation and Recreation extricated the patient via Stokes basket and ropes. The patient was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

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Drury High Graduate Killed in Phoenix

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Drury High graduate was shot to death in her Phoenix, Ariz., home on Friday.

According Arizona media reports, the body of Shayley Estes, 22, was discovered by her roommate. Police have arrested her former boyfriend, Russian national Igor Zubko at Sky Harbor International Airport on Friday evening.

Estes had reportedly been dating Zubko and had allowed him to move into home for a time. Her mother, Shannon Estes, told news channel KPHO (CBS5AZ), that in living together, her daughter had seen "another side" of Zubko and broke up with him and took out a restraining order. He allegedly sent her threatening texts.

According to reports, a handgun and shell casings were found at the scene. Zubko apparently still had a key to her apartment and was waiting for her when she came home; she was shot when she tried to flee, according to police. KPHO reported that he told police he had purchased the gun off the Internet.

Zubko had a one-way ticket to San Francisco when he was apprehended, according to police. He was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, as well as burglary, kidnapping and several other related charges.

Estes was an honors student at Drury, graduating in 2011. She had recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in chemistry.

A gofundme account has been set up to help Estes' mother defray the cost of bringing her daughter back to the Berkshires for burial.

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Four North Adams Residents Arrested in Two-State Drug Raid

Staff Reports

Update: On Tuesday, July 28, the Bennington Banner reported that Brooklynne Schneider had provided the Vermont Drug Task Force with information that resulted in the arrest of Kacey E. Caprari, 35, of North Adams on drug dealing charges.

Caprari was identified as a case worker with the Vermont Department of Children and Families. She allegedly was using her position to sell heroin out of the State Office Complex in Bennington.

Caprari was arraigned Tuesday in Vermont District Court in Bennington on felony charges of conspiracy to sell drugs and distribution of heroin. She was released on $5,000 bail, according to the Banner.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police arrested four people on drug charges on Friday and recovered thousands of bags heroin and cocaine and cash.

The arrests were the result of multiple warrants simultaneously executed in North Adams, Holyoke and Stephentown, N.Y., on Friday "after a lengthy investigation into the distribution of narcotics."

Arrested in North Adams were Brooklynne R. Schneider, 21; Rosemaria H. Thorton, 67; Tre A. Amos, 22; and Johnathan J. Loring, 21.

Schneider, Thorton and Loring are each facing counts of possession to distribute a Class A drug (heroin) and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act.

Amos is charged with the same violations and also faces charges of possession of Class B drug (cocaine).

Seized were more than 7,500 bags of heroin, 36 grams of cocaine and more than $5,000 in cash.

North Adams Police Department made the local arrests with the assistance and cooperation of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force, Holyoke Police Department, Rensselaer County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Schneider was arrested in February 2014 in relation to an investigation into a drug ring from Holyoke. Schnieder was a passenger in the car of Joshua S. Bressette, murdered a month later in the Bronx, that was stopped by police on Mohawk Forest Blvd. Police say she had dozens of bags of heroin and cocaine on her person; she was later arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on drug charges.

Bressette was also charged and three others in a second car were also arrested on drug charges: Jordan Moon, 26, and Kassidy LeMire, 19, both of North Adams, and Kamil Kujawa, 23, a Polish national living in North Adams.

Kujawa, Moon and LeMire all pleaded guilty; Kujawa is serving a two to three-year sentence, Moon and LeMire were given probation.

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