Quick arrest after teen shot in Springfield

A witness' cell phone photo helped police identify the suspect

Julien Rivera. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Police are crediting a shooting suspect’s arrest to a witness who took a cell phone photo Thursday night.

Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that officers on patrol heard several shots fired near Commonwealth Avenue and Washington Street shortly after 6:30 p.m.Thursday.  The gunfire was also picked up on the city’s “ShotSpotter Activation” system.

The officers found a 15-year-old boy who had been shot in the wrist.

“A nearby cooperating witness took a cell phone picture of the suspect after the shooting, and provided the investigating officers with the photo,” Sgt. Delaney said.

Using that cell phone photo, police spotted a suspect on Carver Street within 15 minutes.

Police arrested 30-year-old Springfield resident Julien Rivera and charged him with assault and battery by discharging a firearm, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, possession of a firearm without a license, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony. He is also facing a cocaine possession charge, after police allegedly found that he was had the drug on him at the time of his arrest.

Meanwhile at the hospital emergency room, Delaney says police discovered that the victim had 99 bags of heroin on his person. He said that police will file a  complaint at a later date regarding the heroin seized.

Julian Rivera was held at the Springfield Police lockup pending his arraignment Friday in Springfield District Court.

Delaney said the victim has been released from the hospital after his wound was treated.