SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Three men are under arrest after a gang-related shooting Wednesday night that left two men in the hospital.
Around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, police were alerted by ShotSpotter of shots being fired near 2 Orange Street.
When officers arrived, they found two men injured, including a 22-year-old man that had three gunshot wounds to his back, and a 27-year-old man with a bullet wound to his back and neck.
Both men were taken to an area hospital. One of the victims was listed in critical condition overnight, but has since been upgraded and is expected to survive. The other victim is listed in good condition.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney says that witnesses told investigators that there was an argument n Johnny Appleseed Park at Hancock and Orange Streets between the victims and three other men.
Those witnesses noted that about 30 minutes after that argument, the three suspects came back to the area, saw the other two men in front of Red Apple chinese restaurant, and allegedly opened fire, Delaney adds.
The suspects were then seen fleeing down Hancock Street. Around 7:45 p.m., officers spotted three men matching descriptions provided by witnesses walking down Chester Street.
After trying to allude police and their questions, the three men were placed into custody.
Arrested were 26-year-old Rafael Rivera-Vazquez, 29-year-old Roberto Antonio Melendez-Vazquez, and 23-year-old Vilmanuel Mulero-Vazquez, who all live in Springfield. They are all charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and other gun-related charges.
Delaney says that the shooting appears to be “gang-related” and the argument that happened before the shooting. He credits the quick arrests to “the cooperation between witnesses and responding police.”
Arraignment is set for Thursday in Springfield District Court.