SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Police arrested two men and are searching for a third on Tuesday, who are suspected of being in a car that ran over two officers during a traffic stop.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News the incident began around 11:30 p.m. Monday when police in Enfield, Connecticut put a look out for a Nissan Maxima, with Rhode Island plates, involved in a possible shooting. A house was reportedly shot at in the southeast section of Enfield.
Then, around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, Springfield Police were called to the 7 Eleven on Springfield Street to investigate an armed robbery, Sgt. Delaney said. the suspects were armed with handguns and were wearing masks.
While searching for the armed suspects, Delaney said a Springfield Police K-9 Officer spotted a vehicle with the Rhode Island plate number Enfield Police were looking for in downtown Springfield, around 4:20 a.m., but the vehicle was a Subaru Forrester, not a Nissan.
Delaney said Springfield Police Officers pulled the vehicle over during a traffic stop on Boland Way; however, during the investigation with the three suspects inside the vehicle, the driver sped off, hitting two officers. He said the officers, “fearing for their safety,” fired shots at the vehicle as it dove away.
The suspects led police on a chase that went over the Memorial Bridge into West Springfield, down Route 5, and back into Springfield, said Delaney. The car then crashed at Central and Maple Street in Springfield.
Delaney said the officers looked in the vehicle and found the driver had suffered a gunshot wound. He was treated and taken to Baystate Medical Center, said Delaney, and released from the hospital Tuesday morning. Police also arrested a passenger in the back seat of the vehicle, at the crash site.
A third suspect was not arrested, and ran from the vehicle after the crash. Delaney said the suspect is still at large, and considered armed and dangerous.
Police arrested 22-year-old Derek Fernandes of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and 18-year-old Melquon Alford of Springfield.
Fernandes was charged with the following:
- A&B Dangerous Weapon, Motor Vehicle (two counts)
- Assault With a dangerous Weapon (motor vehicle)
- Armed Robbery While Masked
- Failure to Stop for Police
- Reckless Operation
- Carrying Firearm
- Possession of Firearm for a felony
- Motor Vehicle Charges
Alford was charged with the following:
- Armed Robbery
- Carrying a Firearm
- Possession of Firearm In the Commission of Felony
Delaney added that the suspects involved in the armed robbery at 7 Eleven on Springfield Street are the same suspects involved in this incident. Evidence of that armed robbery were found from the suspect vehicle. Also found in the vehicle was a handgun.
The officers that were run over were rushed to Baystate Medical Center by an ambulance, said Delaney, and later released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon. They were excused from duty because of their injuries. There names are not being released at this time.
Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri visited the hospital after he was notified to check on the officers and the injured driver; “This is a reminder of the dangers police face every day,” the commissioner said.
The corner of Central and Maple Streets was blocked off, and Boland Way between Main Street and East Columbus Avenue was also closed while police investigated the areas. All the streets were eventually reopened. Forensics and major crime were also called in to the corner of Central and Maple Streets.
Delaney said both suspects will be arraigned on their charges on Wednesday in Springfield District Court.
Enfield Police are still investigating the incident. More charges are possible for theses suspects.