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Pittsfield Domestic Disturbance Prompts Special Response Team

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

Police closed streets around a home where a domestic disturbance was reported.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man was taken into custody Saturday morning after the Berkshire County Special Response Team had to be called out.

Police received two calls shortly before 10 a.m., one from a postal carrier who heard noises and screaming from a home at the corner of Myrtle Street and Stoddard Avenue and another from a family member.

"We're still trying to sort out what exactly occurred inside, but essentially an emotionally disturbed person, a mental health patient, with some medical history who was having a bad way and managed to get his hands on a black powder rifle," Police Chief Michael Wynn said.

"We're pretty sure it wasn't loaded, from the family, but we didn't know for certain so that necessitates a protocol."

The SRT team consists of representatives from local police departments — including Lanesborough, Lenox, Great Barrington, Adams, and Dalton — and the Berkshire County Sheriff's office.

They closed the streets and were able to make contact with the man, enter the house and defuse the situation.

"He was taken into custody without incident and is on his way to the hospital," Wynn said.

Wynn declined to name the man because the suspect was being treated as a medical patient, but said charges will likely be brought related to the domestic disturbance following an investigation.

The streets were to be reopened once the police equipment was removed. Police began leaving the area about an hour after arriving. 

"Everything went as smoothly as could be expected given the circumstances," Wynn said. "When operations go this way, we're very happy. These are the way they're supposed to go."


Goshen Man's Death Related to Pittsfield Shooting

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Goshen man died as a result of a blood clot caused by a gunshot wound incurred in a Pittsfield parking lot. 

Dr. Henry Nields, the state's chief medical examiner, said 29-year-old Anthony Gamache died as a result of the blood clot that, in his opinion, was caused by a gunshot wound to the leg.  

Gamache was shot in the leg in the Big Y parking lot in Pittsfield on Tuesday, Nov. 18, allegedly over a drug deal gone bad.

He was taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton to seek treatment of his injury and then transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, from which he was treated and released. Gamache returned to his home in Goshen.  

He began experiencing pain Wednesday evening, Nov. 19.  Emergency medical technicians responded to his home and transported Gamache to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  

Peter J. Campbell, 18, of Pittsfield, is facing several assault charges in the shooting of Gamache and District Attorney David F. Capeless said additional charges will be forthcoming when the case is presented to a Berkshire County grand jury.  

Campbell had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf in Central Berkshire District Court, on single counts of armed assualt with intent to rob, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm without a firearm identification card and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.  He is being held without the right to bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction.     
The investigation into the shooting is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department and state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office.


Pittsfield Police Seek Help in Finding Missing Man

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police are requesting aid in finding a missing local man, James R. Purcell.

The 30-year-old Purcell was last seen on or about Nov. 14.

He is described as a black male, with brown eyes, standing 5-foot-10 and weighing 165 pounds.

He may be operating his gray 2008 Toyota Rav 4 with Massachusetts registration 828-EN8.

Purcell attended Taconic High School and Berkshire Community College; his Facebook page lists his place of employment as Best Buy.

Anyone with information as to Purcell's whereabouts is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Department's Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.


Pittsfield Crash Backs Up Traffic On South Street

Staff Reports

A utility pole fell on a minivan Monday morning.

Updated from original story at 11:49 a.m.; complete rewrite throughout; update to relate the minivan was was the second vehicle.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The driver of a vehicle that caused a three-car pileup and sheared off a utility pole on South Street on Monday morning was allegedly high on heroin.

According to a Fire Department report, the driver told police, "he was under the influence of heroin, having 'shot up' while driving."

Police arrested the driver and took him away in handcuffs after the northbound vehicle apparently veered into the pole, which then fell on a minivan immediately behind it. A third car following was also involved.

Crofut Street to Gamell Street was closed while the pole was being replaced. Traffic was rerouted to Holmes Road for much of the morning.

According to a Fire Department report, two engines and a ladder truck were dispatched to 460 South St., near the Lipton Mart, at 8:55 a.m.

The driver of the second vehicle was removed by firefighters and taken to Berkshire Medical Center with minor injuries. The vehicle sustained significant damage. The report by Deputy Chief Steven Peaslee stated that a Western Massachusetts Electric Co. representative informed him that "a matter of inches kept the driver from being electrocuted." The main power lines carry 13,000 volts.

The third driver remained in that vehicle until rescued by firefighters.



Man Involved in Shooting At Pittsfield Big Y Dies

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man shot in the Big Y parking lot earlier this week has died.
Anthony Gamache, 29, of Goshen died Wednesday, the district attorney's office confirmed on Thursday. Gamache had been shot Tuesday while in the Big Y parking lot on West Street. Police have charged an 18-year-old city man with firearm charges.
"We're waiting on the results of the autopsy," said Fred Lantz, of the district attorney's office, Thursday afternoon. 
The autopsy will be performed in Boston to determine the cause of death. 
Gamache was shot in the the leg and was driven by two others to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton to be treated for his injury. He reportedly needed surgery and was transferred to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.
He was released and Wednesday evening reported feeling pain and he was rushed Cooley Dickinson, where he was pronounced dead.
The district attorney's office says 18-year-old Peter Campbell was charged Wednesday with a single count assault and battery, single count of possession of a firearm without a firearm identification card and a single count of discharging a weapon within 500 feet of a dwelling. He is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on Friday morning.
Pittsfield Police declined to comment on the incident.
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