A Springfield man who allegedly fired a gun and repeatedly pointed it at officers and bystanders was arrested Sunday night, police said.
Jose Montanez, 43, was charged with multiple offenses, including carrying a loaded firearm without a license; discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building; two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon; carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds; receiving stolen property under $1,200, and disturbing the peace, according to a statement by the Springfield Police Department.
Police said at approximately 7:25 p.m. officers responded to the 0-100 block of High Street after five rounds of gunfire were picked up by the city’s ShotSpotter gunfire detection system.
The Springfield Police Department released video footage of the incident that showed Montanez running down the street with a gun in his hand, pointing it in the direction of the officers and bystanders. At one point he dropped the gun and then picked it up from the ground, and police saw an additional magazine in his waistband, the statement said.
The responding officers also noticed that the firearm’s slide was locked in the rear, which typically indicates that the firearm is out of ammunition or unable to be fire unless the slide is moved forward, police said.
After Montanez 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 police without further incident, police said in the statement.
Officers recovered the firearm, which was reported stolen out of Ludlow, and a second magazine was recovered from Montanez’s waistband, police said in the statement.
Montanez was scheduled to be arraigned in Springfield District Court Monday, the statement said.
Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood praised the officers for how they handled the incident.
“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,” Clapprood said in the statement. “Reloading or moving the slide forward only takes a moment and likely would have had a much different end result. 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.”
Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno also commended the officers for showing “tremendous restraint” and not firing their weapons.
“Those officers and residents were put in harm’s way and a very traumatic situation – they could have been injured or, God forbid, killed,” Sarno said in the statement. “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!”