Posted on: January 27, 2022, 08:52h.
Last updated on: January 27, 2022, 04:13h.
A 24-year-old Springfield, Mass. man was hospitalized in critical condition early Thursday after getting shot by one or more police officers overnight at the MGM Springfield parking garage. Minutes earlier, he allegedly injured a Springfield police officer with a flare gun.
The incident began at about midnight when shell casings were found in the unnamed man’s backpack by casino security guards, MassLive, a regional news site in Massachusetts, reported. The guards prevented him from entering the gaming property.
Officers then stopped the man outside of the casino. While in an alley, he allegedly fired the flare gun. A Springfield police officer, who is part of the Gaming Enforcement Unit, was injured.
The suspect then fled into the casino’s parking garage. He again allegedly fired the flare gun twice at police officers who were pursuing him, according to WGGB, a local TV station. An unknown number of officers then shot the man at about 12:10 am.
Springfield police officers provided first aid to the suspect. He was then transported to Baystate Medical Center. He has “serious injuries” and is reportedly in critical condition at the Springfield hospital, police said in a statement.
The wounded officer has non-life-threatening injuries. He also was taken to Baystate Medical Center. He was released Thursday morning following treatment. One report said the officer suffered injuries to his hand.
Valet Garage Entrance Taped Off
Most casino operations apparently were not impacted by the incident. A valet parking entrance at the casino garage remained blocked off as of early Thursday morning, MassLive said.
The Springfield Police Department’s Detective Bureau is investigating the shooting. The bureau is reviewing officer body-camera footage and gathering additional video from the area. Evidence will be turned over to Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni for review to see if the use of force was justified, according to MassLive.
I’m thankful our officer is going to be okay, and no other officers or civilians were harmed during this dangerous encounter,” Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapproad said in a statement.
Late Thursday, MGM Resorts told Casino.org that the MGM Springfield casino was not impacted by the incident. It remains an open investigation, the statement adds.
The Gaming Enforcement Unit is a joint unit of state troopers and Springfield officers. They patrol the casino and the nearby area.
Initial Crime Rate Around Casino
As of January 2019, crime surged 300 percent around the MGM Springfield since the casino’s August 2018 opening. According to Massachusetts state police data scrutinized by WCVB, a Boston TV station, in the last four months of 2018, there were 208 crimes reported in the casino. They included 16 robberies, five violent assaults, and two sexual offenses. In all, there were more than 120 arrests.
But WAMC, a local radio station, reported in March 2020 that MGM Springfield did not have a major impact on crime between August 2018 and August 2019, based on data from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). There were more than 200 arrests in the 12-month period.
“It has had an impact roughly of a shopping mall,” Christopher Bruce, a crime analyst, reported to the MGC in February 2020.