Holyoke police arrest Chicopee man suspected of drive-by shooting

  • GAZETTE FILE PHOTO GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/9/2021 2:01:21 PM

HOLYOKE — Police arrested a 21-year-old Chicopee man on Wednesday suspected of a drive-by shooting in the area of Elm Street on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Holyoke police were called about a suspicious van driving in the area of Appleton and Elm streets at approximately 6 a.m. A responding police officer found the van parked on Essex Street, and when the officer began a conversation with the driver, the man stated, “I don’t have anything, the gun is in the car,” according to a statement from the Holyoke Police Department.

The driver of the van was part of a transportation system and was giving a ride to the owner of the gun, who had fled by the time police arrived, according to Holyoke Police Capt. Matthew Moriarty. The semi-automatic pistol that was located in the rear passenger compartment of the van was seized by Holyoke police officers and later tied to a drive-by shooting nearby that occurred that same day.

The man who fled was later tracked down and identified as Manuel Jose Sanchez, 21, of Chicopee. Police identified him as the suspect of the drive-by shooting and a warrant for his arrest was issued on Wednesday.

“It was later determined the passenger in the vehicle (Sanchez) had performed a drive-by shooting in the area of 177 Elm,” Moriarty wrote in a statement about the incident. A police officer had completed a check of the Elm Street area where he found a vehicle “with damage consistent with bullet holes.”

Holyoke police arrested Sanchez with assistance from members of the FBI Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force, Massachusetts State Police Gang United, and the Hampden County Narcotics Task Force.

Sanchez was charged with possession of a firearm without a firearms identification card (FID); discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building; possession of a Class B substance; and malicious destruction of property.

After confirming the identity of Sanchez as a suspect, police found that he was on pretrial release with conditions and was being monitored with a GPS tracking bracelet. He was on pretrial release for the following charges: multiple counts of home invasion; multiple counts of assault with a dangerous weapon; armed robbery; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; armed assault in a dwelling; and larceny from a motor vehicle. Sanchez is being held on a $50,000 bail, according to Holyoke police.

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com.


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