Month-long investigation into drug, firearm activity in Springfield led to officer-involved shooting

Crime

Springfield Police still haven’t released the names of the officer and suspect who were wounded in an officer-involved shooting Tuesday.

Police attempted to pull over a firearms suspect on Belmont Avenue at around 4:00 Tuesday afternoon. Springfield Police spokesman Ryan Walsh told 22News that’s when the suspect drove into the officer, who landed on the hood of the car. Walsh said the officer then fired one shot at the suspect as he drove away.

The driver was eventually pulled over on Kensington Avenue, and taken to Baystate Medical Center, where he’s in custody and receiving treatment. The officer is recovering at home.

Walsh said the suspect’s name will be released once he is officially charged.

The shooting incident happened as a month-long investigation into drug and firearm activity on Fort Pleasant Avenue came to an end Tuesday.

In total, 12 people were arrested in addition to the suspect in custody at the hospital.

Walsh told 22News officers seized two illegal firearms, 265 bags of heroin, cocaine, more than 50 rocks of crack cocaine in addition to several bags, and nearly $5,500 in cash Tuesday as a result of the investigation.

Timeline

Between noon and 2 p.m. Tuesday, officers made six arrests in the lower Forest Park neighborhood after allegedly observing drug transactions in and around a Fort Pleasant Avenue apartment building.

The six individuals were arrested on various drug possession charges for allegedly having heroin and crack cocaine.

At 4 p.m., while officers were conducting surveillance of the same apartment building, Walsh said they saw an individual arrive and hand a firearm to a man later identified as 26-year-old Jonathon Rivera.

Police followed the individual who gave Rivera the gun, which led to the incident at Forest Street and Belmont Avenue where the officer-involved shooting took place.

Springfield police continued their surveillance of the Fort Pleasant Avenue apartment and later arrested Jovan Torres, of Holyoke, after he allegedly ran from police. Walsh said a firearm that he threw while running was later recovered.

Officers ended their day-long operation by executing a search warrant on a third floor apartment of the Fort Pleasant Avenue building and arrested the following individuals: 

  • 33-year-old Julio Ramos
  • 29-year-old Melissa Destromp
  • 28-year-old Kevin Thompson
  • 31-year-old Rafael Santos

They are all facing the following charges: 

  • 5 counts of distribution of a class A substance
  • 2 counts of distribution of a class B substance
  • Possession to distribute a class B drug (crack cocaine)
  • Possession to distribute a class B drug (powder cocaine)
  • Possession to distribute a class A drug
  • Receiving stolen property less than $1,200
  • Improper storage of a large capacity firearm
  • Possession of a large capacity firearm in commission of a felony
  • Conspiracy to violate narcotics drug laws

Torres is also facing charges of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, and improper storage of a firearm.

All suspects are expected to be arraigned in Springfield District Court Thursday. 

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