Suspect arrested in shooting of state trooper in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A Massachusetts State Trooper has been released from the hospital after being shot in Springfield overnight and a suspect has been arrested.

Around 11:25 p.m. on Thursday night, the trooper responded to a shot-spotter alert for multiple shots fired in the area of 195 Nursery St.

The trooper and a Springfield police officer arrived on the scene and saw a man fire two rounds at their cruisers.

The Springfield police officer applied a tourniquet to the trooper’s leg before the trooper was transported to Baystate Medical Center by Richard Caron, a second trooper who arrived on the scene.

A description of the suspect was put out and 31-year-old Christopher Gardner of Springfield was taken into custody.

The investigation indicates that around 11:17 p.m. he exchanged gunfire with another man in a parking lot near the intersection of Nursery and Stafford streets. That exchange of gunfire activated the shot-spotter alerts that prompted the response from Mass. State Police and Springfield Police.

Gardner was 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 a firearm within 50 feet of a building.

He was held at the State Police Barracks through the night and is being held on $150,000 cash bail. While being interviewed by investigators, troopers discovered an injury to his foot believed to be from the initial exchange of gunfire with the other man. He was treated at a hospital and then released.

I commend our Trooper for his proactive response to the shot-spotter alert that led to his being shot. He rushed to a scene where he knew violence was occurring, in order to investigate and end a threat to public safety. I am also extremely grateful to the Springfield officer who cared for our injured Trooper at the scene, to the EMTs who treated him and took him to the hospital, and to the medical professionals who cared for him there. Last night’s shooting once again underscores the dangers faced on any given shift by Massachushetts State Troopers and all police officers who protect our communities. 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.

—  Colonel Christopher S. Mason - Massachusetts State Police Superintendent

The other man who exchanged gunfire with Gardner has not been found.

The injured trooper, who has not been named, was released from Baystate Medical Center on Friday morning.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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