Springfield, Mass. — The Springfield Police Department is releasing city camera footage showing an incident that occurred Sunday night during which an armed suspect, after allegedly firing his gun, repeatedly pointed his firearm at responding officers and bystanders before being arrested.
43-year-old Jose Montanez of Springfield was charged with multiple firearms charges.
Montanez is well-known to police, the Springfield Police Department reported. He was expected to be arraigned in Springfield District Court on Monday.
At approximately 7:25 pm on Sunday, June 20, Springfield Police Officers responded to the 0-100 block of High Street for a ShotSpotter Activation indicating five rounds of gunfire. The video released from the department’s Real-Time Analysis Center’s (R-TAC) city camera begins with Montanez’s actions the moments after he allegedly discharged his firearm and prior to the first officer’s arrival.
Crime analysts were able to relay his actions and location to responding officers. When officers arrived Montanez began fleeing, as is seen in the footage, but continued to point his firearm in the direction of officers and bystanders. Responding officers immediately observed that the firearm’s slide was locked in the rear, which typically indicates that a firearm is out of ammunition or unable to be fired unless the slide moved forward. As seen in the footage, Montanez briefly drops his firearm at one point but immediately retrieves it from the ground.
Officers also observed an additional magazine in Mr. Montanez’s waistband. Montanez continued evading officers and ran out of the view of the city camera. He ran to the back of the High School of Commerce on State Street where he allegedly tossed his firearm on school property before being taken into custody by responding officers without further incident. Officers recovered a second magazine in Mr. Montanez’s waistband.
The firearm recovered was reported stolen out of Ludlow. There were no injuries reported and no property damage located as a result of the incident however shell casings were recovered in the area of the scene. Officers are continuing to investigate and looking for any additional evidence.
“The outcome of this call is a huge credit to all of the officers on scene who showed incredible and courageous restraint in this situation, and, due to their keen observation during a fast-moving incident, were able to avoid an officer-involved-shooting. Reloading or moving the slide forward only takes a moment and likely would have had a much different end result,” Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said. “The brazen actions of this suspect put in jeopardy the lives of our officers, several bystanders and himself and is an example of some of the most unpredictable, volatile and dangerous calls our officers respond to. This situation could have changed at any moment, and we are fortunate it ended as it did.”
The officers involved will go through a departmental debriefing and the Springfield Police Department will provide any support that they need after being involved in such a traumatic incident.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “After reviewing this most chilling video, these officers showed tremendous restraint in not firing their weapons in this foot chase to subdue this violent offender, who was firing off his gun and pointing at officer’s numerous times. Those officers and residents were put in harm’s way and a very traumatic situation – they could have been injured or God forbid killed. Is this what it is coming to? Our courts are holding no one accountable, especially repeat violent criminal offenders who are allowed to run roughshod on our streets and neighborhoods, while our brave and dedicated men and women in blue risk their lives with arrest after arrest after arrest to keep all our residents and business community safe. Now the big question – will our courts hold him or just ‘pat him on the head’ and release him right back to our streets and in our neighborhoods!”