Man charged in shooting of Massachusetts state trooper in Springfield

A 31-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the shooting of a state trooper in Springfield on New Year’s Eve, state police said.
The 26-year-old state police trooper was rushing to a “shot-spotter” alert that multiple shots had been fired near Stafford Street in Springfield at about 11:20 p.m. Thursday when a man opened fire on both his cruiser and that of a Springfield Police officer who had also raced to the scene.
The man shot two rounds at the cruisers. One of the rounds passed through part of the trooper’s cruiser and struck his left leg, police said.
The Springfield cop sprang into action, applying a tourniquet to the injured trooper’s leg until a second trooper, Richard Caron, arrived and took his comrade to Baystate Medical Center. The trooper’s injuries were said to be non-life-threatening.
The trooper — who is assigned to the Springfield barracks, but who state police did not immediately identify on Friday — was released from the hospital early on New Year’s Day and will remain on injured leave while recovering.
Springfield Police later arrested Christopher Gardner, 31, of the Springfield area. Gardner was subsequently booked by state police in Springfield and charged with two counts of armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery by discharge of a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and discharging of a firearm within 50 feet of a building, police said.
Gardner was held at the Springfield barracks before he was transferred to the House of Correction in Ludlow. He was held on $150,000 cash bail and will be arraigned Monday in Springfield District Court, police said.
Gardner was also treated at a hospital for a minor foot injury that police believe he sustained during an exchange of gunfire with another man at the intersection of Nursery and Stafford streets not long after 11 p.m. Thursday — the incident police say prompted the shot-spotter alerts.
Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher S. Mason commended the trooper, who had graduated from the State Police Academy just last May, for his “proactive response” to the shot-spotter alert. Mason also thanked the Springfield cop and medical professionals who helped treat him after he was injured.
“Last night’s shooting once again underscores the dangers faced on any given shift by Massachusetts State Troopers and all police officers who protect our communities,” Mason said in a statement. “Again we are reminded — as if any reminder was necessary— that no tour of duty is routine or predictable for law enforcement officers. We continue to investigate the incident so that we may identity and hold accountable the person or persons responsible for this violent act, and we will continue to provide all necessary support to the trooper involved.”

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