Chicopee Police Chief John Ferraro says that around 7:45 a.m. Friday, police were called for the report of shots fired on West Street, near the corner of Center Street in Chicopee’s downtown.
Two state troopers and Chicopee Police arrived a short time later. When they did, Ferraro says that the officers were met with gunfire.
Officers returned fire “in self defense,” adds Ferraro, and the suspect retreated into the home.
In the hail of gunfire, one trooper was hit. Mass. State Police Colonel Marian McGovern identifies that trooper as 44-year-old John Vasquez. He is married with one teenage son.
The 20 year veteran of the department was shot twice and taken to Baystate Medical Center. He is being treated for non life threatening injuries.
A perimeter was immediately set up and SWAT teams from Chicopee Police and Mass. State Police responded.
Two area schools – Bowe School and Holyoke Catholic – were also placed in lockdown for a time during the morning.
When officers were able to enter the home, they found the suspect dead on the first floor of the home. His name has not been released.
Ferraro says the man has a “long record with law enforcement.”
As the officers entered the home, they detected a strong smell of gas. McGovern says that a HAZMAT situation and the house was secured.
Crews checked the home to ensure nobody else was in the home, and the fire department and gas companies were called.
A woman and young boy, approximately 8 years old, were in the home during the standoff. Both made it out safely.
McGovern says that it’s not known what the relationship was between the woman, the boy, and the suspect.
The incident, including the shooting of the trooper and the death of the suspect, remain under investigation by the Chicopee Police Department, Mass. State Police, and troopers assigned to Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni’s office.