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Pittsfield Police Apprehend Shooting Suspect Who Forced BMC Lockdown

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police apprehended a man suspected in a possible shooting incident around noontime Saturday that led to a brief lockdown of Berkshire Medical Center.

Dylan Ducharme, 20, of Pittsfield is being charged with several criminal counts, including discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.

According Sgt. John Soules, patrol officers responded to the report of shots fired at about 11:43 a.m. in the Hull Avenue area, about two blocks from BMC.

They were told that the suspect had fled on foot toward Berkshire Medical Center; other witnesses told police he was seen entering the Medical Arts Complex on the hospital campus.

As a result, BMC was briefly placed on lockdown status while officers searched the building. While the lockdown was in progress and the building was being searched, police received additional information that the suspect may be in a vehicle in the area of Second Street. Officers assisted by state police responded to that location, located the suspect and vehicle, initiated a motor vehicle stop and placed Ducharme under arrest without incident.

Ducharme is charged with three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, discharging the firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, and assault and battery.

Evidence recovered from the scene confirmed a shooting had taken place, according to police. Pittsfield Police were assisted by members of the state police, Berkshire County sheriff's office, and the Berkshire County Special Response Team.

The incident is currently under investigation. Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.

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Pittsfield Police Cruiser Involved in Collision

PITTSFIELD. Mass. — An on-duty police officer was involved in a motor vehicle accident Thursday evening at the intersection of First and Fenn streets.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the accident occurred as the officer was traveling eastbound at about 6:32 p.m. on Fenn Street in a marked cruiser. It has not determined if any emergency equipment was in use at the time.

As the officer proceeded across the First Street intersection, a collision occurred with a 2014 Ford F-150, traveling southbound on First Street. The operator of the Ford F-150 was a 29-year-old Lee man. The involved officer was transported to Berkshire Medical Center where he was treated and expected to be released this evening. The operator of the F-150 declined treatment at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation by the Accident Reconstruction Unit and the Pittsfield Police Department is asking any witnesses to contact Lt. Jeffrey Bradford at 413-448-9700.

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Pittsfield Police: Reports Of Luring Attempts At Reid Proved False

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Reports that someone had been trying to lure Reid Middle School students into a van in March have proved to be false.
 
Police released a statement on Wednesday saying one of the alleged victims admitted the story was fake and no attempt had occurred.
 
On March 23, two girls reported that a man in a blue van attempted to lure them into it as they walked to school. The investigation "brought to light several inconsistencies in the victim's statements," police said. 
 
"When confronted with the contradictory evidence, one victim's family declined to participate in the investigation any further, and the other female declined to respond in a way that would explain why her story did not match contradictory evidence. At this time, it appears both reports were false and that there was no actual incident involving a blue van," police wrote in a statement.
 
Five days later another report was made by a juvenile man who reported that a man in a white pickup truck told him to get in as the student left the school. Again police found contradictory evidence and ultimately the alleged victim "admitted that the story was a fabrication and that no luring attempt had taken place."
 
The reports of some one trying to lure students trigger alarm among parents and school officials. The School Department issued a call asking for parents to pick up their children at the school and to be aware of the events. 
 
"In both cases, the members of the Pittsfield Public School system and the Pittsfield Police Department worked closely together to ensure the safety of our children and our community. Incidents of this nature are given the highest priority over other matters and require a great deal of our finite manpower resources to investigate. We would ask that parents of school age children take this opportunity to discuss the importance of being truthful when reporting incidents or interacting with the police," the statement reads.
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Fire Damages Pittsfield Apartment Kitchen

Staff Reports

The fire was confined to the kitchen area.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A fire caused by cooking caused damage to a Columbus Avenue kitchen.
 
Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Garner reported that at 8 p.m. firefighters were called to 324 Columbus Avenue for report of a structure fire and that the blaze was brought "under control quickly."
 
The occupants were not displaced.
 
"Upon arrival Car-2 founds the fire showing on an interior door. An occupant was attempting to extinguish the fire," Garner wrote in a report. 
 
Three engines, a ladder truck, and a square care responded to the scene. One occupant suffered some smoke inhalation but refused treatment. The fire was caused by cooking.
 
The damage was "confined to kitchen cabinets, stove, counter tops, a door and heavy smoke damage throughout the kitchen." There was also other smoke damage on the first floor.
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Pittsfield Firefighters Snuff Out Attic Fire On Dawes Ave.

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters snuffed out an attic fire on Dawes Avenue Tuesday night.
 
According to Deputy Fire Chief Andrew Stephenson, firefighters were called to 53 Dawes Avenue at about 10:30. Upon arrival a small fire was located in the attic and a man was injured.
 
"One occupant burned his hands trying to control the fire. He sought medical attention," Stephenson wrote in a report on the incident. 
 
The fire was apparently caused by "improper disposal of a cigarette" and one room, which was used for storage, was damaged. However, the home is likely habitable, Stephenson said, depending on inspections on Wednesday. 
 
"The fire was brought under control and extinguished shortly after arrival by fire crews," Stephenson wrote.
 
The man who was injured sought medical attention from County Ambulance on scene but ultimately provided his own transportation to the hospital. The house is occupied by three people, all of whom found alternative housing Tuesday night. No firefighters were injured in response. 
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