CHICOPEE (CBS) – A Massachusetts State Trooper was shot in Chicopee Friday morning and the suspected gunman is dead, according to state police.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports
Trooper John Vasquez, 44, was shot in the leg and the hand as police converged on a three-family home on West Street just before 8 a.m. during a home invasion, state police said.
Vasquez was taken to Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, where he had surgery on his finger.
He suffered gunshot wounds to his lower left leg and his right hand, and took shrapnel to his right leg. His injuries are serious, but not life-threatening.
Chicopee mayor Michael Bissonette said it began as a hostage situation involving a six-year-old boy and a gunman shooting out a window.
“There was a spray of gunfire that several witnesses heard,” he told WBZ.
Several police cruisers were hit in the shooting.
“It was like a war zone,” one witness said.
The boy was eventually released safely with his mother, but the gunman, who did not live there, remained holed up inside the home. Bissonette said they did not have contact with him after 8:30 a.m.
Police approached the home with a robot at 9:40 a.m., but it was unable to climb the stairs, it fell back and flipped over onto the sidewalk. The heavily armed officers then pulled back from the home.
They entered the house 10 minutes later to begin a search and eventually found the gunman dead. There were also multiple weapons in the home.
The gunman has been identified as 41-year-old Carlos Laguer, who died from gunshot wounds. It is under investigation whether he was struck by rounds fired from police, whether he shot himself, or both. Police say Laguer has a connection to the young woman and the boy who were in the house but would not elaborate.
All the roads in Chicopee Center were shut down and the area was surrounded by police. An elementary school two blocks away was also put into lockdown mode.
The mayor praised a school crossing guard and bus drivers who ushered children to safety out of the danger zone at the time of the shooting, which took place near a busy intersection.
Trooper Vasquez is a 20-year veteran of the department. He has a wife and a teenage son.
Chicopee is north of Springfield and about 100 miles west of Boston.