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Authorities Say Police Service Weapon Used In Cromwell Ave Shooting

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police say the gun used in the shooting on Cromwell Avenue was a Police issued service weapon.
 
A woman, whom authorities continue to refuse to identify, was shot at the home of Officer Miles Barber last Wednesday. She was transported to Berkshire Medical Center following surgery and airlifted to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. 
 
The District Attorney's office has said that the preliminary investigation appears that the wound was self-inflicted. Pittsfield Police released a statement on Monday saying that the weapon used was the Glock Model 22, .40 caliber pistol that was issued to the 18-year veteran of the force.
 
The gun is now in custody of the Massachusetts State Police Firearms Identification Section pending ballistic testing.
 
Barber has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal administrative investigation. The State Police have taken over the investigation into the shooting.
 

Updated on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 2:12 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Preliminary evidence is pointing to a self-inflicted wound in the shooting incident that occurred Wednesday on Cromwell Avenue, say authorities. 
 
At 3:09 Wednesday afternoon, the Pittsfield Police Department received a call reporting that an individual had sustained a gunshot wound at the home of an off-duty Pittsfield Police officer on Cromwell Avenue. 
 
The individual injured in the shooting, identified only as a woman by authorities, is listed in critical but stable condition at Baystate Medical Center. She was airlifted to the Springfield hospital Wednesday evening following emergency surgery at Berkshire Medical Center.
 
According to a statement from the district attorney's office, evidence collected and preliminary interviews conducted reveal that the incident is being considered a case of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, however, the investigation is still in its early stages. The investigation remains active and no further details can be released at this time.
 
The investigation is being conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office, the State Police Crime Scene Services and Ballistics Sections, forensic scientists assigned to the State Police Crime Laboratory. Members of the Pittsfield Police Department are also aiding, according to the statement, although Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn said on Wednesday that the state police will be the lead on the investigation, and the Berkshire County sheriff's department.
 

Original post at 4:59 p.m., July 18, 2018: PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A woman was shot at the home of a city police officer on Wednesday.

 

 
The woman was taken to Berkshire Medical Center where she underwent surgery and is listed in stable condition, according to a statement from the district attorney's office. 
 
Police have not released much in the way of details but say an off-duty officer called in the shooting on Cromwell Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.
 
"At approximately 3:09 in the afternoon we received a call in the dispatch center from an off-duty police officer reporting that he found a shooting incident at his residence," Police Chief Michael Wynn said at the scene.
 
According to land records, the home at 102 Cromwell Ave. is owned by Officer Miles J. Barber but Wynn would not confirm the identity of the homeowner nor the victim.
 
A very brief statement from the district attorney's office at about 6 p.m. confirmed only the information iBerkshires' gleaned from the scene and the update on the victim's status. 
 
The woman's identity was not provided nor her relationship, if any, to Barber, or if he was the one who found her. It's also not clear what firearm was used, who owned it or how the shooting occurred. iBerkshires' has reached out to the DA's office with these questions but has been informed that no further information will be immediately released because it is an active investigation. 
 
Wynn said state police are taking over the investigation since it involves a currently active officer within Pittsfield's ranks.
 
"Based on the fact that there is a law enforcement connection, we immediately requested assistance from the state police Berkshire detective unit and the DA's office. At this point, the ongoing investigation at this scene is being conducted by the state police," he said. "We will be opening a separate administrative investigation once they get through their preliminary."
 
Wynn said there is no current threat to the public. The chief also wouldn't confirm where the officer is now.
 
District Attorney Paul Caccaviello was also there but did not speak to the press.
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Man Arrested For Assault Outside Of Elizabeth Warren Event

Staff Reports
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A Hillsdale, N.Y. man was arrested for assault after a confrontation outside of the Mahaiwe Theater before Elizabeth Warren's town hall.
 
Paul Solovay, 74, was arrested and charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct after pushing a bullhorn microphone back into the face of Shiva Ayyadurai, an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate. 
 
Ayyadurai was campaigning outside of the event when he was approached by Solovay. A verbal confrontation ensued with Ayyadurai eventually calling Solovay a racist through the megaphone repeatedly. Solovay, who left the line to get into the event, then pushed the megaphone back into the face of Ayyadurai.
 
From there it became physical and Ayyadurai's supporters wrestled Solovay to the ground. Great Barrington Police quickly subdued the incident and arrested Solovay.
 
Solovay was released on personal recognizance after being arraigned in Southern Berkshire District Court.
 
Ayyadurai stood outside of the theater with supporters and antagonized the audience. He later heckled Warren when she spoke at the gazebo outside of town hall. He had gotten into numerous verbal confrontations with Warren supporters.
 
Ayyadurai posted a video of the incident on YouTube, which is available below.


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North Adams Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A North Adams man was killed after the motorcycle he was driving collided with a car on Church Street on Friday evening.

According to the North Adams Police, Steven Fortier, 49, was driving his 2001 Harley-Davidson motorcycle southbound when he collided with a northbound car Friday night around 10 near 761 Church St. and near where the road forks between Church Street and Ashland Street. According to a press release from the Berkshire district attorney's office, first responders found Fortier lying in the roadway.

He was transported to Berkshire Medical Center's North Adams Campus, where he died from injuries.

Life Flight had initially been called to the scene.

The vehicle that collided with Fortier's motorcycle was a 2015 Audi driven by Joseph Thompson of Adams. Thompson is the director of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Jodi Joseph of Williamstown, also an employee of Mass MoCA, was a passenger in the vehicle. They did not suffer serious injuries, officials said.

The accident is still under investigation by the North Adams Police Department, State Police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and troopers from the Crime Scene Service Section and the Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section.

Traffic was rerouted during the accident. Church Street was reopened around 3 a.m.

According to Fortier's Facebook page, he was a self-employed Adams native and graduate of Hoosac Valley High School. Just three hours before the accident, he changed his cover picture to a photo of a motorcycle.

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Egremont School Takes Extra Safety Precautions As Police Respond To Nearby Incident

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Egremont Elementary School took precautionary measures Tuesday morning as Police responded to a Williams Street home for a man threatening to harm himself.
 
Police said at 9:40 p.m. officers were dispatched to the address and learned that there was a summer program happening at Egremont School. The school took additional safety measures while police managed the nearby situation.
 
Walter Bradley, 38, of Pittsfield was reportedly threatening to do harm to himself with a gun. He then left the home and was stopped by police shortly after. Bradley was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace.
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Superior Court Briefs: July 9 - July 12

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 9.
 
Justin Senecal, 29, of Palmer pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery on a disabled person and a single count of caretaker abuse on a disabled person.
 
The case was continued without a finding for six months. Senecal assaulted a student while employed at Eagleton School on July 11, 2013.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 11.
 
Dennis Ducharme Jr., 27, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in heroin, trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to violate drug laws, inducing or abetting a minor to distribute controlled substances, and intimidation of a witness.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 bail. The charges stem from an investigation into illegal drug activity in Pittsfield on May 16, 2018.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, July 12.
 
Nicholas Beauchamp, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to five counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, five counts of larceny from a building, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
 
He was sentenced to concurrent two and a half to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. 
 
Beauchamp broke into O'Brien's Market in Lenox on August 4, 2017; the American Legion in Pittsfield on August 20, 2017; and Angelina's Sub Shop in Pittsfield on September 15, 2017. He took ATMs from those locations. He also broke into O'Laughlin's Pub in Pittsfield on September 11, 2017 and took money. The other charges relate to his arrest in Pittsfield on September 28, 2017.
 
A single count of carrying a dangerous weapon was dismissed by the state.
 
Simone Farnum, 40, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of heroin, conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: distribution of heroin, distribution of cocaine, and conspiracy to violate drug laws to wit: distribution of cocaine.
 
She was given an 18-month suspended sentence and placed on probation. The charges stem from the sale of heroin and cocaine in Pittsfield on August 17, 2017.
 
Rashard Garnett, 30, of Pittsfield was found guilty of a single count of possession of cocaine.
 
He was released pending sentencing. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant on West Street in Pittsfield on March 22, 2016. 
 
He was found not guilty of single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and drug violation in a park zone.
 
Jessica Trotter, 41, of Williamstown pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of cocaine - her second offense.
 
She was ordered to serve concurrent one-year sentences at the  Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Woman's Facility. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on April 2, 2018.
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