Monday April 16, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- For the third time in just over 48 hours, police were investigating a report of gunshots in the city -- this time following a house party early Sunday on upper North Street.

The gunfire occurred around 2:15 a.m. in the 800 block of North Street near Springside Avenue, according to city detectives, but just as in the previous two incidents, no injuries were reported.

"There were a lot of people in North Street yelling, when shots were fired," said Capt. Patrick F. Barry of the Pittsfield Police Department's Detective Bureau. "So far, there are no victims and we've had no reports of people going to the hospital."

Several shell casings from a semiautomatic handgun were found at the scene, police said, and about 12 young people in their teens and 20s who attended the party were interviewed about the shooting. So far, the information has not led to any arrests, Barry said.

Meanwhile, a city man arrested in connection with the first of the two shootings in the area of Columbus and Daniels avenues is facing deportation to his homeland of Jamaica.

Federal authorities informed city police on Sunday that Jevaughn Ainsley of Columbus Avenue has been illegally in the United States for more than two years. He came to Pittsfield in July 2010 to visit friends and was scheduled to leave the country Jan. 13, 2010.

Barry said the U.S. De partment of Homeland Sec urity plans to deport Ains ley after the case against him locally is resolved in the courts, or when he posts bail. The Jamaican man is being held in the police lockup on $100,000 pending arraignment Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court.

Police arrested Ainsley at his residence Saturday morning and charged him with threatening to commit murder and intimidation of a witness. The charges stem from the shooting reported around 10 p.m. Thursday. Ainsley has not been charged as the shooter in the incident.

A second shooting incident in that vicinity was called in to police at 12:48 a.m. on Saturday. Police are investigating whether the incidents are related.

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No injuries were reported in either of those incidents, and no one has come forward to say they were the target of the gunfire.

However, a city man faces a misdemeanor charge indirectly related to the upper North Street shooting. Travis Altman, 24, of Barker Road, had apparently attended the house party and returned to the area to demand from police officers at the scene what was going on.

Barry said officers told Altman, who police claim was intoxicated, to stay further away from the crime scene. While Altman didn't enter the section of street taped off as the crime scene, police asked him four times to step back onto the curb and he refused.

Altman was brought to police headquarters, charged with disorderly conduct and released on his own behalf.

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