Police in Holyoke sent a strong message to residents Wednesday: If you have an illegal gun, they are coming after you.
"Any thugs that are running and gunning in the City of Holyoke, we are coming after you," said Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger.
A 23-year-old man was shot in the neck near the intersection of Pleasant and Appleton streets Tuesday afternoon. State police were in the area and chased down a car believed to have been involved.
During the chase, police say a gun was thrown out of the car. The chase ended when the car slammed into a tree near Gates and Chapin streets.
"Osvaldo Vargas and Damien Alvarado, both these two suspects that were arrested by us are members of the La Familia gang, they are well known to us," Neiswanger said.
The suspects are 24 and 18 years old. The man who was shot, 23-year-old Alberto Morales, who police identified as a member of the Latin Kings, is expected to survive.
"This type of behavior is not going to be tolerated in Holyoke. We're aggressively going after the thugs that are carrying guns and illegally using them," Neiswanger said.
Police said both suspects have been arrested several times on very serious charges. Neiswanger said the streets of the City of Holyoke will be safer with these two behind bars.
The Holyoke Police Department is working with the state police, the sheriff's department and the district attorney's office. Police have very specific targets in mind.
"The reality is, if we go after the gun people, we lock them up and keep them locked up. It lowers the crime rate significantly," Neiswanger said.
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