Gangsters have gunfight feet from playground; car, house catch - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

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Gangsters have gunfight feet from playground; car, house catch fire

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A Nissan Maxima that crashed into a tree after its front windshield was shot and its rear windshield was shattered by gunshots. A Nissan Maxima that crashed into a tree after its front windshield was shot and its rear windshield was shattered by gunshots.
Bullet holes in the windshield of the crashed Nissan Maxima. Bullet holes in the windshield of the crashed Nissan Maxima.
Springfield police detectives investigate the gang related violence that occurred just feet from a city playground. Springfield police detectives investigate the gang related violence that occurred just feet from a city playground.
Children playing at Calhoun Park after the shooting. Children playing at Calhoun Park after the shooting.
The Chevy Trailblazer that was struck sustained $5,000 in damage according to Springfield fire officials. The driver was uninjured. The Chevy Trailblazer that was struck sustained $5,000 in damage according to Springfield fire officials. The driver was uninjured.
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Springfield police investigated their fourth shooting in less than a week after shots rang out just 20 feet from a playground in the city's North End section Monday afternoon.

More than a dozen shots were fired at the corner of Calhoun and Dwight streets, causing one car to crash and one to burst into flames, which then ignited a house fire just after 5 p.m.

Police also found a bag of cocaine nearby the crashed car, and according to Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney, the shooting was drug- and gang-related.

Resident Adam Gomez has lived in the neighborhood his entire life. He said he has some great memories from growing up here, but it's now the crime scene of a shooting.

"At any given time these things are happening," Gomez said.

The violence occurred just feet from Calhoun Park, which had a playground full of children when the shots were fired.

When police arrived they found two vehicles were hit by gunfire, one of which had smashed into a tree. Its back windshield was shot out and there were numerous bullet holes in the front windshield.

Yellow police tape surrounded sidewalks and orange bullet casing markers littered the street. Fifteen shell casings were found at the intersection, Delaney said.

Two Nissan Maxima's passed each other in opposite directions when occupants of both cars pulled their weapons and exchanged gunfire at the intersection. Shots to the front and rear windshield of one Maxima caused the driver to lose control and strike the tree. Four occupants from that car, which is where the narcotics were recovered by authorities, fled the scene on foot.

At least two suspects shot back and forth at each other, sending bullets all over the neighborhood, police said. 

"One of them hit straight across the park which is 100, 150 yards," Gomez said.  

A stray bullet also struck a Chevy Trailblazer, which caused it to burst into flames. The driver parked the car in the driveway of 1549 Dwight St., which set that house on fire, Delaney said. The SUV sustained $5,000 worth of damage and the driver was unharmed.

Neighbors said what's especially nerving about this shooting is that it happened less than 20 feet away from a busy playground.

"We had a kid in the park who noticed what it was and told everybody to get down. If a kid was in the vicinity he could've gotten hit," Gomez said. 

He said the violence is no longer pertained to one portion of the city and that the entire community needs to come together to end it.

"Now it's happening to our kids, our neighborhoods and in our parks," Gomez said.

There were no victims in the shooting, Delaney said. The shooting was investigated by the Springfield Police Department Detective Bureau and state police.

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