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Firemen loaded up their gear after clearing the scene of a homicide that occured late Sunday night when Pittsfield resident Nikolas Carnute was gunned down in the middle of Wellington Avenue by an unknown assailant. Mon Dec 5, 2011 (ZOLLSHAN)
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Monday December 5, 2011

PITTSFIELD - A 23-year-old Pittsfield man with a history of violence was apparently shot to death late Sunday night, local authorities have said.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m., Pittsfield police received several 911 calls of shots being fired in the area of Lincoln Street and Wellington Avenue. The emergency personnel and police who responded to the scene found Nikolas Carnute, address unknown, lying in the middle of Wellington Avenue, according to a press release this morning from the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.

Carnute was rushed to Berkshire Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later. While city police are treating the shooting as an apparent homicide, the DA's office stated an autopsy will be conducted on Tuesday to determine the cause of death.

Police have yet to make an arrest, but they are seeking information about a white sedan, maybe a Pontiac, with a rear spoiler seen fleeing from the area following the gunfire. Anyone with information should contact the Pittsfield Police department at 448-9700.

Four years ago, Carnute received a four- to six-year state prison sentence after admitting in Berkshire Superior Court that he was one of four men who stabbed two others in Pittsfield in August 2006. Carnute also pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking. His three co-defendants also were sent to state prison for their roles in the attack.

To reach Dick Lindsay: rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com, or (413) 496-6233.