Pittsfield man found dead at scene of reported shooting near Durant Park
PITTSFIELD — A city man was found shot to death on Tuesday night in the area of Durant Park — the city's first homicide of the year.
Paul L. Henry, 39, was found lying on the ground about 11:30 p.m. by Pittsfield Police after they received reports of a shooting on John Street near the park, according to a news release from the Berkshire District Attorney's office. Emergency medical technicians pronounced Henry dead at the scene.
An autopsy conducted Wednesday at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Holyoke confirmed Henry died of a gunshot to the chest.
Manny Slaughter, who runs a a summer literacy program in the park, said he learned about Henry's death during his lunch break on Wednesday.
"That's very important to us that we implement a safe haven," he said. "From my past overall experiences, we have never had a problem. What happens outside the program — we can't control that."
"It seems like things have gotten a little quiet," she said. "It's really unfortunate that we're this sleepy little town that all of a sudden has to deal with [incidents like this]. It does put you on guard. It's here, and we have to deal with it."
Slaughter planned to discuss the incident with staff at the end of the day about how the program can continue to be a safe place for kids.
On July 4, 2015, one man was killed and four other people were wounded in a shooting in a vacant lot on nearby Linden Street. Ronald Pinel, 25, of Pittsfield, was pronounced dead at the hospital after that shooting. Three other men and one woman also were injured.
No arrests have been made in that case.
Reach staff writer Patricia LeBoeuf at 413-496-6247 or @BE_pleboeuf.
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