EXCLUSIVE: family of man arrested in Springfield officer-involved shooting speaks out
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Springfield Police are investigating a shooting involving one of the department’s officers Wednesday morning.
Springfield Police told Western Mass News that the man who was shot was a suspect they were chasing for a stolen car.
His family spoke exclusively with Western Mass News Wednesday, calling him a shooting victim.
Police told us that the shooting took place around 7:20 Wednesday morning on Woodside Terrace. They have not yet released the suspect’s identity, but the suspect’s family identified him to us as a 26-year-old and said that they are angry at how the situation was handled.
“Y’all didn’t have to shoot him. Y’all didn’t have to shoot my grandson!” said the victim’s grandmother, Teresa Williams. “My daughter just fell. Oh, you know, my granddaughter, everybody, screaming.”
Williams said that she is upset because she said they were not contacted by the Springfield Police Department about the situation and had to read about the department’s statement on a local news webpage.
“Why didn’t they tell us? Why didn’t they tell my daughter? Why didn’t they tell me, the grandmother, that my grandson had been shot?” she asked. “It’s a secret!”
She told us that the family is devastated, saying her grandson did not deserve this.
“He’s a good boy,” Williams said. “He’s so shy, he’s so sweet. He’s got his issues, but he’s a good boy, and I’m not just saying that. He’s a good grandson. He’s so respectable.”
Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood told us that it all began with a stolen car.
“He stole the vehicle early this morning, a little after 7, and we spotted it in a couple different places and we aborted the pursuit,” she said. “We don’t chase stolen vehicles, but he seemed to be kind of staying in the area and almost hit somebody on School Street. Then, a car did spot it on Woodside Terrace and it pulled into a driveway, so the cruiser blocked him in the driveway.”
She said that officers got out and asked the suspect to step out of the car.
“He refused to do so, and he started playing this game with escape with the car, where he hit the cruiser, he hit a car in the driveway, he rode on the lawn, and at one point, he was going in a direction towards an officer, and the other officer felt, obviously, his life was in jeopardy, so a shot was fired and the suspect was struck in the elbow,” Superintendent Clapprood told us.
Police said he was placed in custody and taken to Baystate Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries. Superintendent Clapprood said that, as far as she knows, he was only shot once.
Meanwhile, Williams told us that the hospital will not let them see her grandson, but they were told he is in the ICU.
Now, they are calling for answers from the department.
“I’m upset with the police because my grandson didn’t have no gun, he didn’t have no weapon, and so, the police, they had no reason to put three bullets in my grandson,” Williams said.
He is expected to be arraigned Thursday morning, where police said he will face numerous charges related to that stolen car, assault by means of a stolen car, and property damage, among others.
Meanwhile, the shooting remains under investigation by the Springfield Police Detective Bureau in cooperation with the Hampden District Attorney’s Office.
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