PITTSFIELD — A city man was seriously injured and fighting for his life after a shooting Saturday morning, according to Pittsfield Police.
Officers responded to the shooting about 9 a.m. near 27 Spring St., according to Pittsfield Police Sgt. Matthew Hill.
The victim was undergoing surgery Saturday afternoon at Berkshire Medical Center for shots to the neck, according to community activist Shirley Edgerton, a family member.
"He's not well," Edgerton said at a campaign event for Berkshire District Attorney candidate Andrea Harrington. "They shot him in his neck. He's already swelling in the brain, not responsive."
For the victim's safety, police asked Edgerton not to publicly name him, or her familial relationship to him.
Also, police declined to comment on details surrounding the shooting. No arrests had been made by 5:30 p.m., Police Lt. Jeffrey Bradford said.
The man, a cook, moved to Pittsfield about three years ago, according to Edgerton, who visited him in the hospital Saturday morning, after getting a call about the shooting.
"From what I'm hearing in terms of [the victim], there was another attempt on his life previously," she said.
At Willow and Spring streets Saturday morning, a police barrier blocked off a blue Nissan pickup truck with Connecticut license plates. Investigators battled wind and rain to mark evidence in and around the vehicle, which had at least three broken windows.
An evidence marker was attached to a bullet hole in the passenger-side door.
"[The shooting] is under an active, ongoing investigation," said District Attorney Paul Caccaviello, who was on the scene. "I would ask that if anyone has any information to please call the Pittsfield Police Department."
Edgerton, who sits on the boards of the NAACP-Berkshire County Branch, 4 Freedoms Coalition, and Berkshire Children & Families, said that this shooting is another indicator of the violent crime in Pittsfield and why the city needs to take a new direction in prosecuting criminals.
"I can't express enough that things have to change here. We cannot continue to deal with issues the way we have in the past. Too many innocent people are being killed, too many children are being traumatized, and too many families are being destroyed," she said.
"We need to be serious about developing community engagement with law enforcement the way other cities and communities are doing."
Edgerton said she hopes that Berkshire County will start to build a criminal justice system where there is trust in the community and residents will feel safe talking to law enforcement.
"I don't feel safe here now," she said. "This is not the quaint little community I moved to almost 29 years ago."
At her campaign event, Harrington, the Democratic nominee, said she cannot comment on a specific criminal case but that if she is successful Tuesday, she hopes to enact a community prosecution model that will increase community engagement so law enforcement will be better informed about violent threats before they take place.
"These shootings aren't just a headline," state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, said at the event. "It's a person and the family attached to them, the people attached to them, and the lives that are shattered."
Farley-Bouvier said she is interested in learning about the kind of weapon that was used and how it got into that person's hands.
Anyone who might have witnessed the shooting, or who might have information about it, is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Department Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Information also can be provided anonymously through the tips hotline at 413-448-9708, or by texting PITTIP and your message to TIP411 (847411).
Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at email@example.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.