Authorities Still Searching for Adams Shooter
ADAMS, Mass. — Authorities are still on the hunt for suspects in Wednesday's shooting that sent a local man to the hospital.
Investigators believe the shooting at North Summer Street was an isolated incident and not a random act and that neighbors in the area are not in any immediate danger.
The victim's name is still not being released but he remains hospitalized at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he underwent surgery for gunshot wounds.
Police are a looking for a light-skinned African-American man with facial hair who witnesses said fled the scene on foot.
The vague account led to the highly dramatic stop of a man with no involvement in the case not long after police arrived at the scene.
Police Chief Richard Tarsa on Friday said a man matching the description given by witnesses, including the wearing the similar clothing and colors, was seen driving by as police were searching the area around the 30 North Summer St. neighborhood on Wednesday. He was stopped after exiting the Racing Mart gas station on Columbia Street.
"The officers effected a motor vehicle stop, which is considered a high-risk stop because of the nature of the situation," Tarsa said. "We had a shooting and fleeing the scene, so a high-risk stop was conducted according to their training."
The man was removed from his car and handcuffed in the middle of Columbia Street at the intersection with Cook Street. Photos of the stop were posted on social media showing the man on his knees with his hands in the air but appear to have since been removed.
"The individual was removed from their car, handcuffed for his own protection and placed in a cruiser, which gave the officers time to determine if they were involved," Tarsa said. "In this situation, the operator of the vehicle, who was alone, was found not to be involved so he was told what was going on and why he was stopped and the officers apologized for the inconvenience."
The police chief pushed back on allegations that the stop was a case of racial profiling. Rather, it was the circumstances of looking for a likely armed suspect and seeing a person who generally matched the description, he said.
"As soon as they determined he was not involved, he was allowed to leave and, unfortunately, because of the situation you have to conduct the stop accordingly," he said. "Here it was a high risk so they had to order the operator out at gunpoint and they handled it accordingly.
"By no means was it a racial issue."
Tarsa said incident is still under investigation and "we are following several leads."