Springfield DYS staff member dies after alleged assault by juvenile resident

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A staff member at the Department of Youth Services facility in Springfield has died, weeks after he was allegedly assaulted by a juvenile.

The Hampden District Attorney’s Office identified 60-year-old James Hillman as the victim of an assault on June 30. Hillman was a staff member at DYS on Tinkham Road in Springfield where he was allegedly attacked by a resident. When his coworkers discovered him, they reportedly administered first aid while waiting for paramedics.

Hillman died at Baystate Medical Center where he was receiving treatment for his injuries.

The accused assailant, a 16-year-old, is currently in the custody of the DYS in a secure facility. Due to laws pertaining to the identification of juveniles, his identity is being withheld while charges are pending.

“The news that James Hillman passed away yesterday is absolutely devastating. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones, his coworkers, and the paramedics and Baystate Medical Center healthcare workers who fought to save his life. As the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities, it is essential to me that staff members, youth, and all related parties, are safe and secure in youth facilities across the state, and this happening in my own district only reaffirms that commitment. While no investigation will bring James Hillman back to his family, I have the utmost confidence in the Massachusetts State Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, and the Hampden District Attorney’s Office’s Murder and Juvenile Units who are currently reviewing the incident.” 

Statement from Senator Adam Gomez

Massachusetts State Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, and the Hampden District Attorney’s Office’s Murder and Juvenile Units are currently investigating the incident.

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