A man opened fire with a rifle this morning in a downtown neighborhood in Chicopee, Massachusetts, wounding a state police trooper and causing mayhem in the busy downtown district.
At 7:45 a.m., local and state police responded to a call about a home invasion, with shots fired, on West Street. The house is by a busy intersection. When police arrived, a gunman was reportedly shooting from a doorway. He allegedly fired at the street and at a gas tanker truck. Jessica Buchanan works at the Dunkin Donuts inside the Shell convenience store across from the home.
“He was shooting as the cops were driving by and then next thing I know he shot at the store, I think he was shooting at the gas truck and I heard the gun shot at the window and I seen it smash. I sat there until they’re like, “Let’s go, get out the building, we all got to get out of the building now, so that’s when I moved.”
Buchanan and her coworkers escaped uninjured through the back door of the store. When police arrived, they were met with bullets and one state trooper was shot in the hand, according to Chicopee Police Chief John Ferraro.
“They returned fire, self defense. The party retreated back into the house. At that point a perimeter was set up, safety was secured for the neighborhood, investigations started. SWAT teams responded from both state police and the Chicopee police department. They secured the area and at a point when they felt it was safe and that the neighborhood was secure, they made an entry.”
Police found the gunman dead on the first floor. It’s not clear whether his wound was self-inflicted or if he was hit by police bullets.
Police have identified the gunman as Carlos Laguer, a 41-year old springfield man. Police say Laguer had a connection with the occupants of the first floor of the house on West Street at the center of events – a young woman and a boy who fled the building at some point during the incident.police are investigating whether Lageur’s death was a suicide or if he was hit by police bullets. The state trooper who was hit, 44-year old John Vaquez, was listed in stable condition at Baystate Medical Center.