HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) –Indian Orchard neighborhood is understandably still on edge after 38-year-old John White was shot to death over the weekend. Barely 24 hours later, the atmosphere is tense.
We spoke to one person who performed CPR on the victim who afraid to speak ABC40.
Another neighbor expressed that she’s worried about her safety. “At times I do. This area is not as bad as the other side of the streets where the projects are. Before like last year I saw cops driving around all the time, but now I don’t see much cops around here like they used to,” she shared.
Police say that just after 5 P.M. Sunday evening, about 15 to 20 people were fighting here at the intersection of Montcalm and Healy streets. Although witnesses say it took a while for police to show up, cops say they didn’t even get a call until after shots were fired. “When we arrived on scene, witnesses said somebody who was involved in the altercation took a weapon out and started randomly shooting. The victim left his house, heard the disturbance, and ended up getting shot,” stated Sgt. John Delaney of the Springfield Police Department.
Police believe White was an innocent bystander.
Still, there seems to be a code of silence, one that the community hopes is broken soon. “If you see something that’s not safe, you should be calling the cops. Letting them know what’s going on so that way the neighborhood feels safe,” he neighbor added.
Authorities say it’s been a high crime area for the last couple of years and have upped their patrols since then. They aren’t sure if the shooting was gang-related.
Police are still investigating.
If you see anything you can call Springfield police at (413) 787-6355, or you can text the word “Solve” and your anonymous tip to 274637.