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Two arrested after shots fired as church group feeds homeless

Two men were arrested after gunfire broke out near Worcester YMCA on Sunday afternoon as a church group was feeding the homeless, Worcester police said. No one was injured, but two cars were struck by bullets, police said.

Three shots were fired from the front stairs of the 766 Main St. building around 2:15 p.m on Sunday while the church group was providing meals to the homeless on the YMCA lawn, police said in a statement.

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An off-duty State Police trooper witnessed the man as he fired the three shots, police said. The trooper followed the alleged shooter when he drove off in a Nissan Altima. The Altima stopped on Hermon Street where several people, who had been running away from the YMCA, got into the car.

Police later recovered the car and found a semi-automatic handgun believed to have been used in the shooting.

After the trooper identified him as the person he saw firing from the steps of the YMCA, police arrested Jesus Benitez, 22, of Worcester, who was charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling and carrying loaded firearm without a licence, police said.

Luis Rosario, 19, of Southbridge was charged with carrying a loaded firearm without a license.

Both men are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Worcester District Court.

The incident remains under investigation.

Police ask that anyone with information about the incident call the Worcester Police Detective Bureau at (508) 799-8651.

Mary Pavlu can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @marypavlu.
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