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Massachusetts State Police defuse tense situation after man inflicts life-threatening injuries on female victim



Photo courtesy of Massachusetts State Police

A man has been arrested by authorities after a tense standoff and violent assault.

According to Massachusetts State Police, late yesterday afternoon, the State Police Special Tactical Operations Team and State Police Crisis Negotiation Unit responded to Fitchburg to help local police with an armed suspect who had barricaded himself up under the Townsend Street bridge. The bridge spans a small brook with heavy brush along the banks.

The suspect, a 29-year-old Fitchburg man, had committed a domestic assault and battery earlier yesterday, inflicting life-threatening injuries on a female victim. The suspect had previously stated to Fitchburg Police that he was armed with two firearms, and responding Fitchburg officers observed him in possession of at least one handgun after he had tucked himself against the side and under the road deck of the bridge. The suspect had allegedly stated that he would shoot anyone who came close to him.

MSP stated that STOP operators established tactical positions and the State Police Bomb Squad also responded and prepared on its robots, which allows police to remotely gain situational awareness of a hostile barricaded suspect, in case deployment was required. The State Police K9 Unit, patrols from the Leominster Barracks, and the State Police Air Wing also responded.

Meanwhile, a Trooper from the MSP’s Crisis Negotiation Unit began speaking to the suspect through a load hailer speaker to establish communication with him. The negotiator and suspect subsequently communicated by cell phone, as the Trooper worked for about three hours in an attempt to convince the man to surrender peacefully. Eventually, as the negotiator made progress, he moved closer to the suspect and communicated him through natural speaking from a protected position.

According to Massachusetts State Police, at approximately 9 p.m., the suspect agreed to surrender peacefully, was placed under arrest, and was transferred to the custody of Fitchburg Police.

“The joint efforts by Fitchburg and State Police, and the patience and skill of the negotiator and restraint of all involved law enforcement officers, ensured that the situation was resolved without injury to officers and that the suspect will face prosecution for the domestic assault he committed.”

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