Residents: Shooting of school bus happened in normally quiet area

Holyoke police searching for suspects

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A four year old girl was caught in the crossfire of a gun fight. Holyoke residents said that’s unacceptable.

“Just a four year old kid- mind your own busines- you nearly get shot,” said John Borlen of Holyoke.

The little girl was the last passenger on the Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield Head Start Bus. Holyoke Police Lieutenant Isaias Cruz told 22News two groups were shooting at each other when the bus was hit by a bullet at the intersection of Oak and Appleton Streets Tuesday afternoon. The bus stopped a block away at Oak and Suffolk. 22News went back to that intersection to speak with residents Wednesday.

“Here, we are quiet, and no problem here. So you were surprised yesterday? Yes, I was surprised when they told me about those gunshots. I said, ‘WOW’!” said Narcisa Ramos, who lives at that intersection.

“In the past week, it’s been one back after the other, so I’m just wondering maybe if it’s related and I’m wondering if it’s drug related. I really think there’s no problems in this area really,” said Elvin Bruno, also a neighbor.

The little girl and the driver were not hurt. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said he spoke with the girl and her mother shortly after the incident. “This violence is unacceptable at this time of day or at any time of day, really,” Morse said.

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

Just hours before the gunfire, the mayor had announced a new $50,000 initiative to get more police patrolling these streets, but some residents said they didn’t think that would be enough.

“I live up in the Highlands and that was supposed to be ‘THE AREA’ of Holyoke, and that’s really changed. We’ve had some violence there over the past few years,” Borlen told 22News.

Holyoke Police are asking for anyone with information on the shooting or suspects to contact them at 413-536-6431.

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