PITTSFIELD — A city man accused of opening fire into a busy intersection in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon has been ordered held without bail.
Patrick Coyne, 34, allegedly disposed of clothes and a 9mm handgun in trash cans following the shooting.
Coyne allegedly told police he was the one fired upon.
About 1:37 p.m. Thursday, police responded to the area of Wahconah Street and Pecks Road for multiple reports of shots fired.
Witnesses told police they saw a white male wearing dark clothing and a cap standing on the northern sidewalk on Pecks Road firing at a vehicle in traffic.
The man then "casually" walked toward the intersection before fleeing on foot between two homes on Wahconah, witnesses said.
"This shooting occurred in the middle of the day, compounding its recklessness and danger to the general public," wrote Pittsfield Police Detective Timothy Koenig in his report.
A witness who told police of hearing shots also said a man walked down the driveway of a Wahconah Street home, removed his dark shirt and put it in a trash can, revealing a bright orange one he was wearing underneath.
Another witness told police a man wearing an orange shirt was heading west on Pecks Road.
Coyne, who matched the description given by witnesses, allegedly fled when police spotted him in the area and ordered him to stop.
Officers caught up to and detained him. Coyne allegedly became argumentative with officers, called them "stupid," and claimed he had been shot at.
Coyne refused to tell police who fired at him, according to Koenig.
A search of the area recovered seven 9mm shell casings from Pecks Road and the nearby sidewalk.
A search of trash cans behind the Wahconah Street home recovered a dark-colored sweatshirt, a black hat and a black 9mm handgun.
Koenig said the weapon's magazine and chamber were empty and its slide was in the locked-back position, indicating the gun had been fired until empty.
Police noted the area is heavily traveled by both vehicles and pedestrians and there is a supermarket, liquor store, housing project and other residences and businesses in the immediate area.
Police said the city's School Department was notified and buses were rerouted around the area, and students who walk from nearby schools were briefly held back to avoid the area being searched, which included parts of Wahconah Street, Pecks Road and Pontoosuc Avenue.
Coyne pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court Friday to charges of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card and committing a firearms violation with a previous violent or drug crime.
Police said Coyne has prior convictions including firearms offenses.
He is due back in court on May 24 for a dangerousness hearing to determine if bail should be set and in what amount.
Thursday's gunfire was the third such incident in Pittsfield within an approximately 17-hour period.
A man was struck by a bullet about 8:43 p.m. Wednesday near Second and Pond streets. Police described his injury as non-life-threatening.
About 90 minutes later, police responded to another call reporting shots fired on Dartmouth Street in which a vehicle was apparently struck, but no injuries reported.
Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn said at a community meeting in early May some of the recent violence may be gang-related.
Thursday's violence prompted a public statement from Mayor Linda Tyer on her Facebook page.
"Please be assured that every available resource is being deployed and a great deal of advance planning is constantly taking place to proactively engage in these very serious circumstances," part of Tyer's statement read.
Pittsfield Police Lt. Gary Traversa said Friday the department is not releasing additional information about the open cases at this time.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.