Police investigating Pittsfield homicide


Photo Gallery | PHOTOS: Columbus Avenue shooting

PITTSFIELD — State and local police are investigating the apparent homicide of a city man that took place early Sunday morning on Columbus Avenue.

According to a report from the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Pittsfield Police responded to a 911 call around 2 a.m., reporting the incident, which took place at 343 Columbus Ave.

There they found a man identified as Joseph Brown, 38, of that address, lying in the driveway.

Emergency medical personnel who were also responding determined Brown died at the scene from an apparent single gunshot wound to the chest.

There was some comment by neighbors at the scene that police were slow to respond. But that was due to the nature of the initial report, according to Captain Stanley Caesar of the Pittsfield Fire Department.

The call initially came in as an unresponsive person, according to Caesar, who was also on the scene on Sunday morning. Fire Department records show the 911 call came in at 2 a.m. as an unresponsive person on Columbus Avenue, he said. The call came from a cell phone and was initially directed to the Massachusetts State Police.

Because it was a report of an unresponsive person and not a gunshot wound, the call was then forwarded to the Pittsfield Fire Department said Caesar. According to fire department records, a unit was on scene by 2:02 a.m., he said.

"That's when we realized that it was not an unresponsive individual, but a gunshot injury," said the fire captain. At that point, Pittsfield police were notified, he said.

The man's body was removed soon after by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and transferred to the Boston Medical Examiner's Office, where an autopsy will be performed tomorrow.

The investigation is ongoing, said Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless, who was at the scene on Sunday morning along with Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas N. Bowler. Columbus Avenue was sectioned off at John Street for most of the afternoon, as investigators continued to work at the scene.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Pittsfield Police Department at 413-448-9700.

The investigation is being carried out by members of the Pittsfield Police Department, assisted by the Berkshire Detective Unit of the State Police assigned to the District Attorney's Office, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force and the Massachusetts State Police Crime Scenes Services Section.

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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