Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chicopee, MA: Chicopee shooter Carlos Laguer had long record of domestic violence, possession of illegal firearms, assaults on police

Carlos Laguer, whose two-hour shootout with police wounded a state trooper and terrorized downtown last Friday morning, had a long record of violent crime in Massachusetts.

Preliminary autopsy reports show the 41-year-old Laguer likely shot and killed himself while holed up in the first-floor apartment at 102 West St.

Trooper John Vasquez, taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield for treatment of gunshot wounds to his hand and lower left leg, is now recuperating at home.

Investigators continue to probe Laguer’s violent attack that shaken witnesses described as something akin to the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral or something straight out of a Hollywood movie.

Hampden District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni said Laguer was armed with more than one weapon – including an “automatic-type weapon.” Investigators believe between 70 and 100 bullets were fired when Laguer and local and state police exchanged gunfire.

It started, Mastroianni said, as a reported domestic disturbance at about 7:45 a.m.

Laguer’s first known brush with the law as an adult in Massachusetts involved a domestic altercation as well.

According to Laguer’s conviction summary, provided by the state Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, he was convicted of domestic assault and battery in Northampton District court in 1994, when he was 24 years old. That summary lists his formal name as Carlos A. Gonzalez Laguer or Carlos Gonzalez-Laguer.

A clear pattern of domestic violence, break-ins, possession and discharge of illegal firearms and assaults on police officers and others ensues, according to the criminal offender records.

In a way, Laguer’s final burst of violence last Friday encapsulates all the elements of his long criminal history.

A year after that first Northampton conviction, Laguer was again convicted, in that same courtroom – this time of violating a restraining order.

More convictions ensued over the years, including two counts of possession of a firearm without an FID card in Holyoke District Court in 1997, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of violating a restraining in Northampton in 1998.

Laguer’s most recent convictions – for one of his more violent acts – were handed down in Springfield District Court in 2004. The incident that led to those convictions is eerily similar to last Friday’s – minus the withering gunfire. It was a break-in, followed by an attack on those inside and on the responding police officers.

It started when Laguer broke into an apartment at 20 Healey St. in Springfield on May 21 of that year and assaulted his ex-girlfriend and a man inside.

The victims, according to a report written by Officer John D. Wilson, were able to push Laguer out the door, but not before he inflicted a two-inch scratch on the woman’s chest.

A few moments later, all the windows in the front of the home were smashed out.

When the man went outside to see what was going on, Laguer attacked him. As they rolled around on the broken glass, Laguer bit the man on the arms some 15 to 20 times, according to the report.

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