Springfield Police say a teenage girl has become the city’s third homicide victim this year. Police say they were first alerted to shots shortly before midnight Monday in Springfield’s Old Hill neighborhood by their audio surveillance system. Police spokesman John Delaney says bystanders directed officers to a doorway on Union Street, where they found an 18 year-old girl lying on the ground with several gunshot wounds.
The victim, identified as Lenezzia Clarke, was pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center a short time later. Delaney says there were several people in the area where the shots were fired, and police are not certain if Clarke was the intended victim. But so far, he says, detectives have been unable to get any information about the shooter.
“We’re hoping somebody from the community steps up, gets a hold of our detectives. Or they can, if they want to remain anonymous, text a tip,” he says.
Delaney says the area where the shooting occurred is considered a high crime area for drug dealing and other gang-related activity, including sporadic shootings. It is the second fatal shooting in that area in the past six months.