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Massachusetts shooting claims life of baby delivered after mother was one of several hit by gunfire

HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — A shooting claimed the life of a baby that was delivered after its mother was one of several people hit by gunfire during a fight Wednesday on a downtown street in the western Massachusetts city of Holyoke, authorities said.

The pregnant woman was shot in the afternoon while seated on a public bus and taken to a hospital in critical condition, the Hampden District Attorney’s Office said.

“The infant, who was delivered, and needed life-saving medical services, tragically passed away,” it added.

Police responded to the shooting at 12:38 p.m. and said it appeared three male suspects were involved in an altercation before gunshots were fired.

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All involved suspects were believed to have been identified, taken to hospitals and are in custody, according to the District Attorney’s Office. No further information was immediately given on their conditions. The names of the woman shot and of the people involved in the shooting haven’t been released.

State police spokesperson Dave Procopio said earlier that the shooting stemmed from “an altercation among people on the street.”

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority spokesperson Brandy Pelletier confirmed that one of the agency’s buses was on its route when it was involved in a shooting incident but said there would be no further comment on the active investigation.

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The Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office and the Holyoke Police Department are investigating.

Police said they received a 911 call about the shooting near the intersection of Sargeant and Maple streets, as well as notifications from ShotSpotter. State police said they sent patrols, K-9 teams and investigative units to help Holyoke Police with the investigation, including the search for suspects in the area.

Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia extended his condolences to the woman’s family in a statement on Facebook, adding that he wants the public to know he is “equally outraged and frustrated with these senseless acts of violence and illegal activity on our streets.”

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He said he struggles daily as he tries to offer a balanced solution.

“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,” Garcia said.

Holyoke, which is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of Boston, is a city with a population of nearly 38,000. It is also home to the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.

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AP writer Lisa Baumann contributed to this story from Bellingham, Washington.