Pittsfield Shooting Incident Now a Homicide
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The shooting incident on Columbus Avenue on Sunday is now being investigated as a homicide.
A single individual had been found that morning by authorities responding to the shooting and was taken to Berkshire Medical Center.
The Berkshire district attorney's office says it is withholding the release of the person's name and any additional information about the victim at this time to provide the family privacy.
Police had responded Sunday morning to a ShotSpotter activation and several 911 calls reporting multiple gunshots in the area of 347 Columbus Ave.
When they arrived at about 3:22 a.m., the victim was found inside a motor vehicle.
The DA's office says law enforcement has been aggressive in its efforts to investigate this crime and apprehend those responsible for the shooting.
A multi-agency investigation into the matter is ongoing with fully committed resources from the Pittsfield Police Department, the State Police Detectives assigned to the DA's office, and the Berkshire sheriff's office.
Anyone with information should contact the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705 or anonymously by texting PITTIP and a message to TIP411 (847411).
Pittsfield Man Sentenced to Five Years on Firearm Charges
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for drug and firearm violations.
The Berkshire district attorney's office secured guilty pleas from 41-year-old Davon Kelly on a number of charges related to a shooting incident outside of the former Lach's Lounge on Fenn Street in Pittsfield on Aug. 20, 2018, and subsequent arrest.
Kelly pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court to single counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, illegal possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of heroin, and armed career felon.
He shot at several individuals during an altercation at approximately 1:03 a.m. the morning of Aug. 20, 2018. Pittsfield Police investigated the matter and arrested Kelly on Aug. 30, 2018.
Judge Karen Goodwin ordered Kelly to serve five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. He was also ordered to serve three years of probation thereafter.
The DA's office had asked for 10 years in prison. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Andrew Giarolo.
"The Berkshire district attorney's office takes violence and gun crimes very seriously. We praise the work of the Pittsfield Police Department and our prosecutors for getting an illegal gun off the street and a dangerous person in jail," said District Attorney Andrea Harrington.
Pittsfield Police Investigating Columbus Avenue Shooting
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are investigating an early Sunday morning shooting on Columbus Avenue that injured one.
According to a statement from the district attorney's office, officers responded at about 3:22 a.m. Sunday to the area of 347 Columbus Ave. after both a ShotSpotter activation and several 911 calls reporting multiple gunshots.
Upon arrival, one victim was found injured inside a vehicle and was transported to Berkshire Medical Center. The victim's name and medical condition are not being released.
Sections of Columbus Avenue and South John Street were closed throughout the day Sunday but re-opened at about 2:30 p.m. This appears to be an isolated incident and investigators do not have any ongoing safety concerns for the public at large.
District Attorney Andrea Harrington said more details about the incident will be provided to the public at the appropriate time.
"Our thoughts are with the victim right now and we are respecting the family’s privacy," Harrington said. "Police have cleared the scene and are continuing the investigation into the circumstances. We will provide more information when we can."
Mayor Linda Tyer said residents should not fear for their safety, noting the full-scale effort undertaken by law enforcement currently in progress.
"My thoughts are first and foremost with the victim and the family who are impacted by this tragic event," the mayor said in a statement. "I want to underscore that this is an active investigation that has the full attention and resources of the city and our multiple partners in law enforcement. They are working vigorously to apprehend the perpetrators so justice can be served and order can be restored in the neighborhood."
Pittsfield Police, the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office, and the State Police Firearm Identification Section are currently investigating the incident.
No further information is being released at this time.
Pittsfield Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Anonymous tips can be made by texting PITTIP and the message to 847411 (TIP411).
Updated at 9:05 a.m., Monday, Aug. 26, 2019.
Pittsfield Police Arrest Two Men on Firearms Charges
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two local men were arrested late Thursday night on firearms charges after police investigated reports of gunfire in the city's West Side.
Tajaye Davis, 24, and Zyir Rasheed, 19, both of Pittsfield, were both arraigned on Friday morning in Central Berkshire District Court on charges possession of a firearm without having firearms identification card or license to carry, possession of ammunition without an FID, and receiving stolen property less than $1,200 in value. Police say additional charges are pending.
A ShotSpotter activation reported gunfire first in the area of John Street at about 9:43 p.m. on Thursday. Responding officers and the Detective and Crime Scene units located evidence of gunfire. No victims or property damage were discovered.
Two hours later, at 11:43 p.m., a second ShotSpotter activation reported gunfire in the area of Francis Avenue. A State Police trooper was in close proximity, heard the shots, and observed a vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed.
A motor vehicle stop was initiated by the trooper on Danforth Avenue, where he was joined by multiple Pittsfield Police units.
The two occupants of the vehicle were detained, and a firearm was discovered inside the vehicle. Subsequent investigation revealed no victims or property damage on Francis Avenue.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Pittsfield Police units and the State Police Ballistics Unit. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Information can also be sent via by texting PITTIP and your message to 847411 (TIP411) or provided anonymously via the Detective Bureau Tip Line at 413-448-9706.
Pittsfield Teen Rescued From Old Water Tank at Springside
Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Noyes said the teenager was with some friends in the area when he fell into a previously collapsed section of the tank. He plummeted some 25 feet and could not get out. After about an hour, he was extricated and transported to Berkshire Medical Center. Noyes said the boy's injuries are unknown right now but they appeared to be minor.
"It was really well done. All of our people did a great job," Noyes said of the rescue.
The tank has been fenced off by the city but teenagers are still known to go there. It was previously a reservoir that hasn't been used in years. The tank was empty when the 16-year-old fell inside.
Noyes said paramedic Carly Falone of Action Ambulance sat at the hole and talked with the teen to keep him calm as firefighters began setting up rescue operations. Noyes said the teenager reported he had trouble breathing and a broken wrist but he didn't know if there were any injuries beyond that.
The Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team was called in, which includes several members of Pittsfield Fire two of whom were responding to the incident. Firefighters were able to start the rescue operation as they waited for the team's arrival.
"We are up to seven or eight active members," Noyes said of the city's membership on the technical rescue team. "Today shows why you have to have members tech trained."
The technical team consists of first-responders from all over Berkshire County who respond when needed. They brought a trailer full of equipment and set up a tripod system with ropes in order to lift the teenager out. Noyes said two members of the team, including a city firefighter, were lowered into the tank and were able to prepare the boy medically to be lifted out. The whole rescue took about an hour.
"It was efficiently done but it feels like a long time," Noyes said. "There are so many safeties and checks."
In a situation like that, Noyes said the first-responders need to be safe because a second person getting hurt in a situation like that makes matters exponentially harder. The additional length of time taken to ensure those safety measures are in place feels even longer for an injured patient, but in this case, the teenager was able to remain relatively calm throughout as he continued to engage with paramedics and firefighters in conversation.
Those responding to the incident were Engine 2, Engine 3, Tower 1, Engine 6, Rescue 1, Truck 10, and a six-wheeler, which is a piece of specialty equipment the department has on hand for such needs. Pittsfield Police officers had dispersed people in the area and secured the scene for firefighters and the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team performed the rescue. Action Ambulance transported the patient.