By Sara Smart, Aya Elamroussi and Mitchell McCluskey, CNN
(CNN) — Two men are set to be charged with murder after a stray bullet from a gunfight in western Massachusetts struck a pregnant woman and killed her baby, the Hampden district attorney’s office said Thursday.
The shooting stemmed from an altercation that broke out between three people in Holyoke, a city 8 miles north of Springfield, the DA’s office said in a statement on Facebook.
Authorities believe a stray bullet from that street fight struck the bus and the pregnant woman Wednesday afternoon. Hours before the shooting unfolded, Holyoke police and city officials held a news conference to discuss the frequency of gunfire in the community.
Police responded to the scene around 12:40 p.m., and the woman was taken to a hospital in critical condition and underwent an emergency procedure to deliver the baby, according to the DA’s office statement.
“The infant, who was delivered and needed life-saving medical services, tragically passed away,” the DA said in the statement.
CNN has requested an update on the condition of the woman.
Alejandro Ramos, 22, is expected to be arraigned on a murder charge in connection with the shooting in Holyoke District Court on Thursday. The other suspect, Johnluis Sanchez, 30, is still in the hospital and will be formally arraigned on a murder charge when his condition allows, the DA’s office said.
Other charges are expected to follow for both suspects, according to the DA’s office.
All involved suspects are believed to have been identified, authorities said. Currently, only Ramos and Sanchez are facing charges.
CNN is attempting to reach legal representation for both men.
Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia offered condolences to the victim’s family in a statement.
“I want the public to know that I am equally outraged and frustrated with these senseless acts of violence and illegal activity on our streets. I struggle with it every day attempting to offer a balanced solution,” Garcia wrote. “Quite frankly, I have lost my patience. I plan to work with all resources available to me to push this nonsense out of our city.”
Earlier Wednesday, Holyoke police provided updates in a news conference to their community on a ShotSpotter system installed in March to help detect gunshots fired.
That system also sent notifications to the police department about Wednesday’s shooting, which was also reported through 911, police said in a news release.
The shooting comes as gun violence has become ubiquitous in the US, with guns becoming the leading cause of children’s deaths since 2020.
Before Wednesday’s shooting, Garcia said during the news conference that officials are trying their best to help reduce gun violence. The ShotSpotter system is one tool the city is using to assist with gunfire in the city, he said.
“It pains me to be in a position where I have to invest in things like this to help reduce issues around gun violence to keep the public safe,” Garcia said, referring to the newly-installed system.
The Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office and the Holyoke Police Department are investigating the shooting.
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