Trooper aids in arrest of 2 after shooting incidents in Pittsfield

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PITTSFIELD — Two city men were arrested late Thursday after a state trooper allegedly spotted them fleeing the scene of a shooting incident — the second in two hours.

Zyir T. Rasheed, 19, and Tajaye A. Davis, 24, are facing weapons charges in the incidents, including being in possession of a stolen handgun. Rasheed was ordered held without bail; Davis was released on personal recognizance.

About 9:43 p.m., the city's ShotSpotter system detected a single shot fired near John Street, according to a police report. There were no apparent victims or property damage, but police did find one spent .380-caliber shell casing in the road. No witnesses were located.

Two hours later, Massachusetts State Police Trooper Jack Elliot was tending to an unrelated call in the area of Francis Avenue when he heard two more gunshots, the report said. As he was heading toward the sound of the shots, Elliot said, he saw a vehicle leaving the area and driving toward him at high speed.

The car allegedly went through an intersection without stopping and continued until it was pulled into a driveway on Danforth Avenue, the report said. Elliot said he saw "furtive movement" from inside the vehicle and the front-seat passenger reaching under the passenger seat several times, and he said he heard the glove compartment being opened and/or shut.

Elliot ordered the men to show their hands. Davis complied, but Rasheed allegedly began opening the car door instead.

In response, Elliot ordered the men to remain in the car and called Pittsfield Police and another state police unit for backup.

Once the men were out of the car, police found a .380-caliber round on the passenger-side floor and an unloaded black handgun under the passenger seat.

Davis was identified as the driver and owner of the car. Neither man has a valid firearms license, police said.

Police said more charges might be coming, depending on the results of ballistics testing of the gun and shell casing.

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A check of the gun's serial number showed it was reported stolen from a Ludlow home in March 2014.

During the men's arraignment in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday, prosecutors said results of gunshot residue tests on the men's hands were pending.

Both men pleaded not guilty to charges of carrying a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card and receiving stolen property under $1,200.

Prosecutors argued to have each of the men found dangerous and held without the right to bail for 120 days.

Attorney Jedd L. Hall, who represents Davis, called into question some of the details included in the police report. He said much of it was based purely on hunch and speculation, and that the case was ripe for a motion to suppress.

Hall, who until recently was an assistant Berkshire district attorney, also noted that there was no charge filed for discharging a weapon, and that Davis has no defaults of court appearances on his record and no record of violent crimes.

Rasheed, represented by attorney Dean Manuel, has a record that shows a history of violent offenses, all but one of which involved a firearm.

Judge Jennifer Tyne ordered Rasheed held as dangerous for 120 days; Davis was released.

Rasheed and Davis are due back in court for pretrial hearings Sept. 23 and Oct. 2, respectively.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.


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