Springfield mayor and police commissioner urge courts to hold repeat offender

Crime

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor Sarno and Springfield Police Commissioner Clapprood are urging the court to hold an alleged shooter in custody due to his status as a repeat offender.

Springfield Police Representative Ryan Walsh released a statement Saturday night that a gun was fired in the direction of a Springfield police officer on Lowell Street Saturday. According to Walsh, when the officer arrived a car was seen leaving the area. A passenger in that car, 19-year-old Keniel Santiago, pointed a gun out the window and fired a shot in the direction of an officer.

An officer drew his service pistol and fired, hitting the car. The vehicle crashed on Riverside Road, where Santiago ran away on foot. He was later caught inside an apartment.

Mayor Domenic Sarno and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said they are watching the case closely because they want the court system to be tougher on repeat offenders.

“I have been steadfast in my clarion call to have our Court System hold repeat violent offenders.  Last night, once again, an officer had a firearm pointed at him by an individual who has multiple open gun charges against him but yet is once again back on our streets to again, perpetuate harm and possible death whether to one of our brave and dedicated officers and/or residents.  I reached out last night to the officer who faced this very traumatic situation head-on in order to protect our public, with words of encouragement.  Again, I am not going to mince any words, ‘What the hell does it take to hold these gun-toting, repeat violent offenders?’  The Court System must do a much better job to not only protect all of our residents and business community but just as important back up our cops.”

Mayor sarno

According to a statement released by Springfield Police, the alleged shooter, Santiago, has open firearm and drug charges in Holyoke District Court.  He was also arrested on firearm and drug charges in Vermont on November 17th.  

“I am urging the courts to ensure this individual is held after he is arraigned.  His brazen actions that only seem to be emboldened by the lack of consequences he has faced in different court systems put not only our officers’ life in danger, but also dozens of innocent bystanders in our North End Neighborhood.   Please keep this dangerous individual off our streets.”

Commissioner Clapprood

Santiago was arraigned in Springfield District Court Monday. Santiago faces various assault and firearms charges for Saturday’s incident.

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