BOSTON (CBS) – A trooper shot and wounded a Randolph man and five people were arrested after a chaotic scene involving dozens of people riding off-road bikes and all-terrain-vehicles dangerously on Interstate 93, state police said.
Exit 18 on Interstate-93 southbound near Albany Street was closed for several hours Saturday night after the police-involved shooting.
The shooting and arrests occurred as authorities were responding to numerous 911 calls from motorists and witnesses reporting a large group of masked riders recklessly doing “wheelies” across the city and causing traffic dangers, state police said.
“Approximately 25 to 35 people were riding off-road bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs in a reckless manner in Boston,” Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement. “Police received numerous 911 calls reporting reckless operation by this group that was endangering the public.”
The riders “were mostly wearing masks, their faces were obscured, almost every rider,” said Sean, a witness who recorded video of the large group of riders in traffic.
“They scared us,” recounted another witness who saw the riders weaving in and out of traffic and doing “wheelies.”
Around 5 p.m., troopers saw the group traveling in an erratic and dangerous manner on I-93 southbound, and they encountered the group on the ramp to Exit 18 (Mass Avenue) and tried to make arrests, Procopio said.
“During that encounter, a trooper discharged his weapon, striking one of the riders, a 28-year-old Randolph man,” Procopio said.
That man was sent to Boston Medical Center for treatment of what is believed to be a non-life-threatening injury. Another rider who was not shot complained of pain and was sent to an area hospital for evaluation.
A trooper sustained a knee injury during the incident and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment, Procopio said.
Sources tell the I-Team’s Cheryl Fiandaca that a state trooper shot a person in the foot, and the person is expected to survive.
At the scene Saturday night, investigators appeared to be focused on a light-colored four-wheeler. Around 7 p.m., a flatbed truck carrying several motorcycles was seen leaving the scene of the shooting.
State Police seized approximately 20 motorcycles and ATVs. Several riders fled the scene during the incident, Procopio said.
A witness named Sean who spotted a group of motorcyclists on Massachusetts Avenue earlier Saturday told WBZ-TV that the riders “looked like they were out for fun, for sure.”
“A lot of wheelies. I’ve seen the bikes ride as a big group before, but this was the largest, which is why I put my phone up (to record video), because it was just an extra large group of riders,” said Sean, who tweeted out video of what he saw.
Five suspects were arrested and charged with various offenses, Procopio said. They are expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court next week.
The two suspects who were hospitalized are also expected to be charged.
The incident remains under investigation by the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and Crime Scene Services Section and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Boston Police are assisting in the investigation.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the State Police Detective Unit for Suffolk County at 617-727-8817.