SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield residents are frustrated: There have been 9 homicides on the streets of their City in just the first three months of 2015. Three of those were in one week, with the latest happening Saturday morning.
“It’s getting too reckless out here. It’s getting too reckless. Before this was a place that I loved to be in, that I loved to live in Massachusetts,” said Kevin Ortiz of Springfield. “Honestly, they need more patrols,” he said, referring to Springfield Police.
Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney told 22News three people were stabbed early Saturday morning, around 4:45, during a fight at a house party at 73 Cambridge Street. A fourth person was hurt with a blunt object, like a beer bottle. Two stabbing victims were on their way to the hospital when they got in an accident on Oak Grove Avenue. That’s when an ambulance and Springfield Police discovered the stabbing at the house party. One of the stabbing victims, a 23-year-old man, died, according to Sgt. Delaney.
Hours later, at 11AM, Springfield law enforcement, and Mayor Dominic Sarno, held a news conference at the Springfield Police Station on Pearl Street.
“When our police officers, brave and dedicated police officers, stop your young person, they might be doing that person a favor, in helping that person get help, or possibly saving that person’s life,” said Mayor Sarno.
Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri said the community has helped police make 5 arrests in the 9 homicides this year. An arrest warrant is out for a 6th arrest. He said more needs to be done.
“We need the public to call us when they see things are starting to go south. Not afterwards. Afterwards, it’s just too late for us. All we can do is just pick up the pieces,” said Commissioner Barbieri. He said police are increasing patrol in well-known, high crime areas.
Commissioner Barbieri told 22News it is very difficult to predict when a homicide, like the deadly stabbing on Cambridge Street, will occur. He said as an example of having the community get involved, people at the late night party should have called police when they noticed that things were getting out of control.
“To be honest, I get scared because I get epileptic attacks and I don’t like that….Especially when there’s little kids around. It’s really bad,” Maria Goicochea, who lives down the street from the stabbing, told 22News.
Mayor Sarno and Commissioner Barbieri said none of the homicides were random. They said the more people associate themselves with crime, the more likely they are to be involved in crimes or hurt in the process. They said it matters more who you associate yourself with than where you live.