School bus hit by gunfire in Holyoke, 4-year-old was on board

Mayor Morse: “This violence is unacceptable at this time of day"

Image submitted through reportit@wwlp.com by Susan Rogers

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Police are searching for the suspects responsible for a shooting, late Tuesday afternoon, involving a Head Start school bus.

When 22News arrived at where the shooting took place, police were directing traffic around the bus at the intersection of Oak and Suffolk streets.

Image submitted through reportit@wwlp.com by Susan Rogers
Image submitted through reportit@wwlp.com by Susan Rogers

In a news conference, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said the bus was hit once by gunfire, and a 4-year-old girl was on board. He said the young girl and the bus driver were okay, and no one was hurt during the shooting.

Holyoke Police Lt. Isaias Cruz told 22News there were two groups shooting at each other when the bus was hit. He said the bus was hit as it rode past Oak and Appleton streets at about 4:45 p.m.

Mayor Morse added that the bus was not from a Holyoke Public School and neither was the child. The bus belongs to the Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield Head Start program, who have their own private transportation.

“This violence is unacceptable at this time of day, really at any time of day,” said Mayor Morse. “This really is an anomaly of the violence we’ve seen lately.”

The mayor announced earlier Tuesday that $50,000 will be used to add more police patrols. He said, “We’re going to use that (money) to get more police on the beat as soon as possible. I’m also relying on the City Council and working with them to identify (more) cash to add even more cops on the streets in the coming weeks.”

Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger said this is unacceptable; “A criminal element out on the streets. And this is exactly what we don’t need. They need to be apprehended. They need to be locked up and removed from society. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

So far, no arrests or suspects have been identified, but the Chief said they were following up leads. If you have any information about Tuesday’s shooting, you’re asked to call the Holyoke Police Department at 413-536-6431.

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