Springfield police have obtained an arrest warrant for Chantz Dudley of Chicopee in connection with the shooting inside Springfield’s High School of Science and Technology on March 11. This photo is from Dudley’s September 2022 arrest on firearms charges.
Photo credit: Springfield Police Department

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Police Department issued an arrest warrant on March 14 for 20-year-old Chantz Dudley of Chicopee for his involvement in the gun-related incident at the High School of Science and Technology on March 11.

The statement from the Police Department read, “The Springfield Police Detective Bureau under the direction of Capt. Trent Duda announced today that an arrest warrant has been issued for 20-year-old Chantz Dudley of Chicopee in connection with the shooting inside the High School of Science and Technology on Monday March 11. Dudley is alleged to have forced his way into a hallway at Sci-Tech armed with a gun. Dudley is alleged to have used that illegal firearm to strike a victim in the head and then fire one shot through a window. Springfield police detectives immediately began investigating and identified Dudley as a suspect.”

The Police Department said detectives applied for and were granted a warrant for Dudley’s arrest on the charges of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property more than $1,200, carrying a firearm on school grounds, carrying a firearm without a license, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, and armed breaking and entering daytime for a felony putting a person in fear.

The statement went on to say, “At the time of this incident, Dudley was out on bail after being indicted on firearms charges stemming from a September 2022 incident at the Eastfield Mall.”

As of press time, Dudley was still at-large. Those who know his whereabouts, are encouraged to call our Detective Bureau at 413-787-6355 or anonymously through the Text-A-Tip program by texting CRIMES — 274637 — and typing SOLVE, followed by the tip. Police also advised those who see Dudley to not approach him and consider him armed and dangerous.

On March 11, Springfield police officers arrested 22-year-old Josiah Livingston inside the school on assault and battery charges. Livingston was held on $25,000 bail.

According to police, “All individuals involved in this incident have been identified and additional charges will be forthcoming. This is an ongoing investigation.”

Sarno, who has been seeking legislation to keep criminals behind bars, had this reaction, “I am once again outraged that some of our judges and court system continue to not hold gun toting violent offenders accountable. Instead, they empower and embolden them to go out and commit more hideous crimes against my residents. The High School of Science and Technology incident could have been a far worse tragedy, as has been seen in other schools across our country. Thank God we had the proper emergency response protocols in place, from our brave Springfield Police Department Quebec Officers, Sci-Tech security, staff and teachers, and camera systems to quell this situation quickly so it did not become a mass shooting incident. Once again, I urge some of our judges and court system; number one, to hold and keep these repeat violent gun toting offenders off our streets and out of our neighborhoods and schools, and number two, to our state Legislature to pass my Bail Reform legislation, thankfully sponsored and re-filed by state Rep. Angelo J. Puppolo.”

At a press conference on March 12 addressing to the incident, Sarno said that once the police investigation is completed there will be a review process to determine if any other additional security steps should be taken.

The mayor said, his administration “takes [the incident] very seriously.” He praised the Springfield Police Department, the teachers and staff of the school for their efforts to address what happened.

At this time, however, no additional security measures have been considered. Counseling services at the school have been offered to staff and students, Sarno added.

Multiple reports on social media motivated the administration to address the incident at this time. Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood said, “Social media forced us to come out with a statement before we wanted to.” She added many posts had embellishments and misinformation.

The statement issued by the Police Department reads as follows: “At approximately 2:10 p.m. on Monday March 11th, a Springfield Police School Resource Officer called out a large disturbance at the High School of Science and Technology. One suspect had a firearm, struck a victim and fired one shot from within the school hallway, through a window outside. No one was shot and no one was seriously injured. The investigation revealed that a group of at least four individuals including one female student were outside the school when a teacher cracked the door to tell them to leave. This is when one of the suspects grabbed the handle, opened the door and the group forced their way into the school. Twenty-two-year-old Josiah Livingston of Hartford [CT] was arrested for Assault & Battery. The shooting suspect has not been arrested yet. The Springfield Police Detective Bureau under the direction of Captain Trent Duda is investigating.”

The original statement issued by police told a slightly different story, initially identifying a student as having breached the security door to allow the alleged perpertrators access to the school.

Clapprood added that the vehicle driven by the two suspects was recovered at the scene. She added that security cameras were immediately activated when the incident started. There were two school resource officers at the high school who responded, with one of them using pepper spray in the action.

“Thank God no one got hurt,” Clapprood said.

School Superintendent Daniel Warwick noted the city’s schools “have never been safer” explaining that arrests are down 95% since 2012. He added the School Department will continue to work to upgrade security at schools.
His office issued the following statement, “This afternoon [March 11] at approximately 2:10 p.m., a gun was discharged through a window from inside the sports complex at the High School of Science and Technology. Springfield Public Schools can confirm that no students or staff members are reported to have been shot. The alleged perpetrator fled the building and police have reported an arrest in connection with this incident.”

It continued, “In adherence to safety protocols, the school promptly initiated a lockdown procedure. As a precautionary measure, Putnam Academy and STEM Middle Academy were also placed on lockdown due to their proximity to The High School of Science and Technology. The situation is being promptly and comprehensively addressed with a thorough police and school district response. The safety of students and staff is the top priority for Springfield Public Schools and the district is committed to fully investigating the details of this matter. Counseling services will be readily accessible to students and staff starting tomorrow morning, offering a safe space for those seeking assistance processing the unsettling events of today.”

School Committee Vice Chair Joesiah Gonzalez commended the work of the police and said the committee supports the safety policies that have been put in place. He said, though, “The work is not done here.” He affirmed there will be a review of the security measures once the investigation is completed.

“This is a team effort,” he added.

The City Council’s Public Safety Subcommittee was set to meet on Tuesday, March 19, after Reminder Publishing’s deadline, to review school safety protocols.

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