Neighbor shot woman, her grandkids, then himself at Springfield apartment, DA says

A 10-year-old girl remains in critical condition at a Boston hospital, while her 12-year-old sister is stable at Baystate Medical Center

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A Springfield, Massachusetts man forced his way into his neighbor's home, shooting and killing her, and shot her grandchildren, leaving one of them in critical condition, before turning the gun on himself, officials said Tuesday.

The Hampden District Attorney's Office provided the update Tuesday, one day after they say Victor Nieves, 34, forced through the front door of his neighbor's apartment in the multi-family home they shared on Berkshire Avenue and shot at the family.



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The neighbor, identified as 52-year-old Kim Fairbanks, and a dog were killed. Two girls - ages 12 and 10, were also shot. The 10-year-old was airlifted to Boston Children's Hospital where she remains in critical condition. The 12-year-old is at Baystate Medical Center in stable condition. Their younger brother, who is 5, was physically unhurt. The three children are Fairbanks' grandchildren, the district attorney said.

Investigators say the suspect is dead and there is no known threat to the public.

Prosecutors say Nieves shot himself after committing the violence against the family. Investigators did not offer a potential motive for the shooting.

District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni said Monday that investigators do not believe this was a random act and there is no larger threat to the public. On Tuesday he added, "This is unequivocally one of the most heinous and cowardly acts to which I’ve had to bear witness as District Attorney. My heart goes out to the parents of these children and the family and loved ones of Ms. Fairbanks. As investigators, we will do everything we can to support this family as we move forward and close the criminal investigation.”

Police said most officers have not experienced a scene like this in their entire career.

“This is an absolute tragedy and I am praying for this family.  In my forty plus years at the Springfield Police Department this is one of the most heart-wrenching incidents I can remember. I am extremely proud of my officers who were the first responders that were able to get these children to Baystate as rapidly as they did," Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl C. Clapprood said in a statement.

Hampden District Anthony D. Gulluni said Monday afternoon that there were multiple victims hurt in the incident at a home on Berkshire Avenue and two people are dead. Others, including children, were taken to the hospital for treatment.

The shooting came the same day that Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Springfield police met with state and federal law enforcement agencies to discuss ways to address a recent uptick in gun violence in the city. Four people were killed in shootings in the city over the one week period from Aug. 6-13.

Over the weekend alone, two deadly shootings were reported in Springfield, according to WWLP. Around 9:20 p.m. on Saturday, police were called to the area of State and Dresden streets where they found a man with a gunshot wound. He later died of those injuries. Around 2:35 a.m. on Saturday, officers were called to a car crash where two people were found with gunshot wounds. One person died in the crash and the driver was taken to Baystate Medical Center for her injuries.

There have already been 24 homicides in Springfield so far this year, the highest number in nearly a quarter century.

Police said the fatal shootings in the city so far this year were targeted and not believed to be related. But officials said they are seeing more fully automatic firearms and ghost guns than ever before.

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