Residents relieved after standoff ends peacefully in Agawam

Hampden County

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A standoff in Feeding Hills on Monday required a neighborhood evacuation. 22News spoke with people living in the area about the events that unfolded over more than five hours. 

Around 9:30 Monday morning, Joanne Circle and Gina Drive in Feeding Hills wasn’t filled with just morning commuters, but dozens of cops. 

“I was driving to work, and they just passed me by,” said Sam Kuzmenko on Agawam. “Too many cops, state police, and I was like what’s going on? Its Agawam.” 

Police were called to the street for a wellbeing check. When they got there, they found a distraught man alone in his home, who said he was armed. 

“You can do the math,” said Agawam Police Chief Eric Gillis. “This obviously wasn’t someone who was having a great day.” 

The street was filled with every available Agawam Police officer, State Police Crisis Negotiators, Bomb Squad, and STOP team, wearing helmets, camouflage, and armed with rifles. 

“Six police officers passed me, I was like, what is going on?” Kuzmenko asked. “We feel safe, in a short period of time they got together so many officers, they try to protect us. That’s the bottom line.” 

Chief Gillis told 22News the man eventually came out of his home holding a handgun and stayed in his yard for hours. Gillis said the move helped police put an end to the standoff. 

“The majority of the time was spent outside the home in the yard,” Chief Gillis explained. “That’s actually an advantage for the special operations units that are here because they can see what’s going on. When somebody is inside a home, you’re operating blindly. It was an extreme advantage for them to know where he was, what was going on, what was his medical state of affairs at the time.” 

Chief Gillis added that he believes the heat got to the man after standing in the sun for hours, and that’s when State Police were able to move in and end the standoff. 

No one was injured, but the man was taken to the hospital for evaluation. Chief Gillis said it has not been determined whether or not the man will face criminal charges. 

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