City reacts to arrest of Springfield shooting suspects - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

City reacts to arrest of Springfield shooting suspects

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Wednesday night, bullets went through the front window of a Chinese food restaurant and injured two people.

It was the third shooting outside of a city business in the past week that has taken place in front of witnesses.

However, it was the first where people came forward to help authorities.

Mayor Domenic Sarno told CBS 3 that made him very happy.

"[That was] extremely key," said Sarno. "Those eyes and ears helps us solve crimes even quicker."

Wednesday night's shooting on Orange Street happened shortly after 7:20 p.m.

Police said less than 25 minutes later, Rafael Rivera-Vazquez, Roberto Antonio Melendez-Vazquez and Vilmanuel Mulero-Vazquez were arrested. The three face multiple charges, including two counts of assault with intent to murder.

According to police, the gang-related shooting stemmed from an earlier verbal altercation across the street at Johnny Appleseed Park.

"It is sad because the kids cannot play in the park," said Mary Carrasco, a resident who lives near the site of Wednesday's shooting. "You cannot even walk through here because you do not know if someone is going to shoot or if there is going to be fighting, or throwing bottles."

Carrasco told CBS 3 that it was the first time she had heard of a shooting on that stretch of Orange Street, but the area itself has seen its share of crime.

"Last summer, where I live at now, it was really bad with drugs," Carrasco stated. "There were a lot of police officers and the landlord got strict with the police and they got everybody out. People see police and they are like cockroaches. They run. So, I think they should have more police."

Officers continue to investigate two other shootings from the past week.

One person was struck when someone opened fire on a barber shop on Main Street.

Over the weekend, police said an 11-year-old girl was shot in the leg while waiting to buy sneakers off of Boston Road.

Like Wednesday night's shooting, each location had witnesses, but officials said they are not cooperating.

"You were there," Sarno said looking at the CBS 3 camera. "You saw what happened. Imagine if this was your kid. Police will continue to work the situation hard."

As for the two victims in Wednesday night's shooting, police said one man was upgraded from critical condition and he is expected to survive.

The second man is in good condition.

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