Officer shot overnight in Springfield, expected to recover – Boston 25 News

Officer shot overnight in Springfield, expected to recover - Boston 25 News

Police officer shot outside of nightclub while responding to altercation

SPRINGFIELD – A police officer remains in the hospital after being shot twice and a 25-year-old man has been arrested in what was described as a gun battle outside a nightclub early Sunday morning.

The officer, Edwin Irizarry, who has served at least 20 years on the department, was grazed in the left arm and shot in the left elbow during the incident that occurred shortly before 2 a.m. at the corner of State and Benton Street, Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said.

The two officers were working a private detail at Club Aquarius, located at the corner of State and Benton streets, when managers of the club alerted them to a disturbance outside at about 1:50 a.m. Both responded and found a man across the street in the parking lot of the Dunkin, which was closed. The victim had been attacked by someone armed with a bottle and was bleeding from his head, according to Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.

Kenneth Jose Hernandez, of Dickinson Street, Springfield, was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder with a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, assault with a dangerous weapon and three counts of malicious damage. He could face other charges in the future, said Ryan Walsh, police spokesman.

It was definitely a gunfight our officers were in the middle of,” Clapprood said, adding she is grateful the officer is recovering and the second officer was not injured.

Irizarry, who was hit once in the left elbow and grazed in the same arm, has been discharged, according to police spokesman Ryan Walsh on Sunday night. A second officer was not injured in the incident, which took place near Club Aquarius.

A second person was also injured in the shooting. The victim was driven taken to Baystate Medical Center by a friend, treated for two graze wounds and released, she said.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said he was incensed that Hernandez, who he said is known to police was allowed to terrorize the city, adding he has been arrested numerous times and at least once on weapons charges.

Video: Springfield police officer expected to be okay after being shot on State Street

He is cooperating with police. Detectives have also interviewed several other witnesses about the shooting, she said.

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Irizarry and a second officer were working a private detail at Club Aquarius when they were told by the manager there was a disturbance outside. Both went outside and found a man across the street at the Dunkin who had been attacked by someone else armed with a bottle and was bleeding from his head, Clapprood said.

One arrested after Springfield officer shot on State Street

While they were investigating, one of the officers heard a woman yelling in Spanish to Hernandez, What are you getting? What are you getting?” she said.

Police arrested Kenneth Hernandez, 25, on a variety of charges including two counts of assault with intent to murder with a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon and carrying a firearm without a license. Officers continue to investigate the shooting and are seeking at least one additional suspect, she said.

The two officers then saw the man walk to a vehicle and turn around with his hands behind his back. They repeatedly ordered him to show his hands, Clapprood said.

There have been no problems at the nightclub in sometime and not since a new owner took over, but Sarno said it is protocol to have the citys License Commission review an establishments liquor license and other permits when there is a violent incident connected to the business.

At which time he produces a .22 caliber firearm and fires at the officers, she said, during a press conference Sunday morning.

Irizarry was admitted to Baystate Medical Center and is recovering. Under department regulations, both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave and will go through an after-incident debriefing with counselors before they return to regular duty, Clapprood said.

Both officers took cover in a vehicle. At that time there was gunfire coming at them and gunfire was also coming from behind the two, Clapprood said.

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Multiple officers then responded to the scene. One of the first officers who arrived, provided medical treatment to Irizarry and rushed him to Baystate Medical Center in his cruiser, she said. Irizarry has been admitted and is expected to survive.

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The other officers cordoned off and blanketed the area, searching for the two suspects. Hernandez ran behind the Dunkin and was quickly found and handcuffed there, she said.

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In total, investigators recovered three different types of ammunition. One came from one of the officers who returned fire and one came from Hernandezs gun, which was recovered at the scene when he was arrested.

Police are continuing to search for a third suspect and have a description of a car that left the scene which may have been part of the shooting, she said.

Police are working with the owner and manager of the Dunkin to obtain video of the shooting. They are also trying to get footage from any other video cameras set up nearby as part of the investigation, she said.

He said Hernandez is known to police and has a criminal record. Sarno repeated his complaint about courts releasing what he feels are dangerous criminals on low bails, endangering the community.

The two officers have been placed on administrative pay with leave with pay as is protocol. They will go through a counseling process before they return, Clapprood said.

Springfield police seized cash and illegal firearms in two separate incidents Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

Ryan Walsh, spokesman for the Springfield Police Department said the Strategic Impact Unit under the command of Lt. Scott Richard, arrested two men Saturday night on Sumner Avenue and seized a handgun and cash.

Samuel Sevilla, 30, of Palmer and 30-year-old Isaiah Santiago of Holyoke were taken into custody on charges of carrying a firearm without a license.

Earlier in the evening, police arrested two people in the 100 black of Chestnut Street and confiscated two illegal firearms. Details about those arrests will be released after the suspects are arraigned in Springfield District Court Tuesday.

A fourth illegal handgun was taken following the shooting of Springfield Officer Edwin Irizarry Sunday morning near a nightclub on State Street.


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