SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Three men were arrested after shooting at Springfield Police Friday night.

According to the Springfield Police Department’s Spokesperson Ryan Walsh, at around 6 p.m. members of the Springfield Police Firearms Investigation Unit (FIU) recovered three firearms and arrested two suspects, 25-year-old Melvin Rios and 26-year-old Walter Jones. Another suspect, 25-year-old Elijah Wheeler-Watson was arrested at around 10 a.m. Monday in Clinton, Massachusetts.

Detectives were conducting an unrelated investigation when they saw two known subjects, Jones and Rios, driving in a car on Orchard Street. Detectives knew Jones had an active extraditable arrest warrant in Vermont for firearms charges. Detectives followed the vehicle to conduct a traffic stop.

Jones, the driver, turned onto Humbert Street and Rios stuck half his body out of the rear passenger door window. Police say Rios allegedly fired approximately 11 rounds at the unmarked police cruiser with two detectives inside and another five rounds at assisting detectives in the line of fire.

No people or police cars were struck, and the officers did not return fire.

Detectives could hear the bullets whizzing over their heads, ricocheting off the ground and striking nearby objects.

Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh

The Massachusetts State Police Air Wing assisted with surveillance of the suspect vehicle and provided the video on their Facebook page.

Police began a pursuit of the vehicle as it drove recklessly and at times the wrong way down streets in Springfield. The suspect in the front passenger seat allegedly tossed a firearm out the window. As the driver slowed down near William Sand Jr. Road, three people got out of the car and ran on foot. Jones, the driver continued to drive before crashing into a wall on the 1400 block of Bay Street. He was arrested after he crashed and a woman passenger was taken into custody and later released.

Rios was arrested on the 0-100 block of William Sands Jr. Road, another woman passenger was taken into custody, but she was released. Wheeler-Watson was able to evade police Friday night but was taken into custody Monday.

Three firearms were seized, one found in the car, one outside the car, and the one that was tossed on Fisher Street during the pursuit. Police recovered 10 shell casings on Humbert Street.

Melvin Rios (25) of Belchertown has a previous firearms conviction and was sentenced to 90 days in jail in 2021. He is charged with the following:

  • Armed Assault to Murder (7 Counts)
  • Discharging a Firearm within 500 Feet of a Building
  • Carrying a Loaded Firearm without a License – 2nd Offense
  • Carrying a Loaded Large Capacity Firearm on a Public Way
  • Carrying a Loaded Firearm without a License – 2nd Offense (2 Counts)
  • Violation Firearm Surrender Order

Walter Jones (26) of Springfield was wanted in Burlington, Vermont for a shooting in July. He is charged with the following:

  • Fugitive from Justice on a Court Warrant
  • Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle
  • Failure to Stop for Police
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License

Elijah Wheeler-Watson (25) of Springfield is currently on Federal Probation. The mugshot will be released when he is processed in Springfield. He is charged with the following:

  • Arrest Warrant
    • Carrying a Firearm without a License
    • Carrying a Loaded Large Capacity Firearm on a Public Way
    • Improper Storage of a Large Capacity Firearm

Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood stated, “It does not go unnoticed that even during these times of negative police sentiment, the women and men of the Firearms Investigation Unit and entire SPD continue to risk their own lives and safety for those in our city. From what I can gather is that we came very dangerously close to losing our own lives during this operation. I am very grateful that no one was hurt, and it goes as another one of successful arrests of felons with guns who would undoubtedly kill or injure anyone in their way. I’d like to thank the Massachusetts State Police, its VFAS Unit and the Clinton Police Department for their assistance and coordination with our Firearms Investigation and Warrant Apprehension Units.”

Mayor Domenic Sarno stated, “First, God Bless our brave and dedicated men and women of the Springfield Police Department. Police Superintendent Clapprood and I are relieved that no one was injured during this reckless and irresponsible incident where they could care less about the lives and safety of our officers or our residents. Their actions put everyone in serious danger and could have gotten someone killed. If these serious criminal actions with a disregard for human life doesn’t keep them locked up and off our streets, what will!”