Pittsfield Shooting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Murder
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The suspect in the shooting murder of 18-year-old Keenan S. Pellot Jr. has has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
Thomas Lee Newman Jr., 18, was arraigned on Monday afternoon in Berkshire Superior Court before Judge John Agostini.
Newman entered not-guilty pleas to single counts of murder, armed assault with intent to commit murder and illegal possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun.
He is accused of killing Pellot and seriously wounding a 17-year-old boy in a midday shooting on Tyler Street on July 31, 2015.
The shooting set off a massive manhunt for Newman, who was being described as "armed and dangerous." He was arrested two days later in Utica, N.Y., and declined to fight extradition back to Pittsfield.
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department, state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and state police Crime Scene Services and Firearms Identification sections.
Police ID Bodies Found In Plunkett Street Apartment
|Anthony Nazareth and his daughter Hannah Nazareth in a photo the father posted on Facebook.|
Pittsfield Police Investigating Murder-Suicide
Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide on Plunkett Street.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding an apparent murder-suicide at a Plunkett Street home.
The bodies of a 47-year-old man and his 11-year-old daughter were discovered late Monday afternoon when police conducted a wellness check at 72 Plunkett St.
Authorities were at the scene at about 4:30., blocking off a small section of the road.
Investigators were seen going in and out of both the second and third floors of the blue, three-unit home.
It appeared most of the focus was on the third floor. The Berkshire County Sheriff's Department set up its command vehicle in front of the house and multiple cruisers were moved around the area.
Two bodies were removed from the building around 10 p.m. and loaded into the chief medical examiner's vehicle, which arrived around 9 p.m.
Authorities have declined to provide any further information, including identifying the victims or how they were killed.
A very brief statement from the district attorney's office was released at about 10:30 stating "at this point, based upon what police have discovered, investigators fear that what occurred is a murder suicide. The matter remains under investigation and police are seeking information from family members and friends."
The home sits directly behind Berkshire Wine and Liquors, right near the intersection of Tyler Street. On both sides of the police tape, large crowds gathered. Rumors flew around the city ranging in details but mostly centered on a murder/suicide situation.
None of those at the scene reported to iBerkshires hearing or seeing anything suspicious.
Suspect In Pittsfield Shooting Arrested In New York
|Thomas L. Newman, 18, of Pittsfield seen here in one of his Facebook photos, was arrested on Sunday in New York. He is being charged with the murder of Keenan Pellot Jr.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The suspect in Friday's fatal shooting was arrested early Sunday in Utica, N.Y.
Thomas Lee Newman Jr., 18, is being charged with the murder of Keenan S. Pellot Jr. in the Tyler Street shooting.
|Thomas Newman's booking photo.|
Arrest Warrant Issued For Fatal Tyler Street Shooting
|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."
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.