Gunman opens fire on unsuspecting family, kills himself after carnage

August 15, 2023 -Springfield- On Monday, August 14 at 2:40 p.m., Springfield Police Officers responded to 174 Berkshire Avenue for a report of shots fired. Officers arrived on scene and made entry into the first floor apartment. They immediately observed an adult male, later identified as Victor Nieves, 34, of Springfield, deceased on the floor. Officers also found an adult female, later identified as Kim Fairbanks, 52, of Springfield, deceased, alongside a deceased canine.

While conducting the initial search of the home, officers entered a bedroom in the home and located three children, two of whom appeared to be victims of gunshot wounds. All three children were rushed to Baystate Medical Center as officers blocked streets to ensure the ambulance could reach the hospital as soon as possible. The three children are ages 12, 10, and 5. The 10 year-old girl was shot and ultimately air-lifted to Boston Children’s Hospital, where she remains in critical condition. The 12 year-old girl was shot and remains at Baystate Medical Center in stable condition. The five-year-old-boy was determined to be physically unharmed. The three children are siblings.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “I remain deeply saddened by this tragic attack and I am profoundly sorry for these children and their family members. This is unequivocally one on 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.”

The Springfield Police Homicide Unit, under the direction of Captain Trent Duda, and the Hampden District Attorney’s Murder Unit are investigating. So far, the investigation has revealed that Nieves, who lived in the upstairs apartment of this multi-family home, forcibly entered through his neighbor’s front door and began shooting at the occupants before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide. Fairbanks was the grandmother of the three children.

Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl C. Clapprood stated, “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.  We are holding a debriefing for those officers and will provide any support that we can because most officers won’t have to encounter a scene like that in their entire career.”

This remains an ongoing investigation by the Springfield Police Homicide Unit and the Hampden District Attorney’s Murder Unit.


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