Police say man shot at apartments, leading to Springfield Hospital lockdown

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/20/2022 11:11:54 PM
Modified: 4/20/2022 11:28:49 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — A man with a gun fired shots at the second floor of a downtown apartment building on Wednesday and ran away before police arrived. The incident sent nearby Springfield Hospital into a brief lockdown.

The man remained at large on Wednesday afternoon, and there were no reported injuries, police said.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, police “received a complaint of a male subject firing off multiple shots” at an apartment building on Park Street and a report of a heavy-set white male who “reportedly took off running away in the direction of the Springfield Plaza with an unknown path of travel,” Springfield police said in a news release.

Multiple agencies responded and conducted a search of the immediate area, but the suspect was never located, according to police.

Despite the gunman’s unknown whereabouts on Wednesday, there is “no specific threat to public safety,” they said.

Located on the west side of the Black River near the Vermont Dpartment of Motor Vehicles office in Springfield, Park Street is a residential neighborhood of mostly apartment buildings.

The building that was shot at is 107 Park St., at the corner of Park Street and Myrtle Street, where the Springfield office of social services organization Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) were once located.

Springfield Hospital, about a half-mile away from the scene of the gunshots, said went into lockdown “due to a safety issue in the area” for about an hour while police responded to the scene.

Michael Runnels, who lives in a first-floor apartment in the building that was shot at, said he was about a quarter-mile away when he heard what sounded like a gun popping.

“I said to a friend that sounds like gun shots. Two minutes later, I learn it’s my apartment building,” said Runnells via Facebook Messenger on Wednesday. A couple hours later, he walked home and saw a ladder fire truck with investigators looking at bullet holes peppered around a second-floor window.

Based upon the pattern of the shots, Runnells said he doesn’t think it was a random attack.

“It was a targeted shooting to send a clear message to one of the residents in front of the building is my guess,” he said, adding that he heard “four or five shots.”

Springfield Police Chief Mark Fountain did not respond to a question whether police think the gunshots were targeted at someone.

Springfield police said Vermont State Police, Chester police, Weathersfield police, Springfield Fire Department, Vermont DMV, Springfield Probation and Parole, and Vermont Fish and Game all responded.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.

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