As Patrols Added, Fiorentini to ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ to Keep Haverhill Safe After Jackson Street Shooting

(WHAV News file photograph)

In the wake of a brazen daytime shooting that put a Haverhill gang member behind bars, Mayor James J. Fiorentini vows to “do whatever it takes” to keep gang violence at bay.

On Tuesday night, Fiorentini met with several Jackson Street neighbors, telling WHAV later those he chatted with were “scared” after the Sunday afternoon incident near 65 and 69 Jackson St. Ext.

As WHAV previously reported, Haverhill police responded to High Street and Jackson Street Extension to interview possible witnesses, who said they saw a blue Ford Focus hatchback driven by a woman pull out from behind a white van parked in front of 43 Jackson St. and two males—including one with a gun in his waistband later identified as 18-year-old Brian Grande—get inside. Another neighbor reported hearing eight shots followed by two more. Police recovered nine spent shell casings in the street.

“What’s scary to me is that all over the country, these things are just becoming normalized, like, it’s normal to be in a gang or have a gun,” Fiorentini told WHAV. “You hear about it so much and it’s scary to me.”

During his conversation with neighbors, Fiorentini said their No. 1 concern was the need for additional security cameras. According to the mayor, police used footage from a city camera mounted on a nearby telephone pole to assist in the investigation, and said he’d install more cameras as need dictates. He also said he’s met with Chief Alan R. DeNaro about this incident specifically. As of Wednesday afternoon, several additional police patrols were working the Jackson Street area on DeNaro’s order, Fiorentini said.

Fiorentini praised the team efforts of the city’s police force, including Officers Jordan Bergevine and Zachary Phair, who were first on scene. Phair attempted to stop the Focus—driven by Peabody’s Nadia Millis—and was assisted by Bergevine, who had to draw his weapon when Grande ran from the car, allegedly dropping his Smith and Wesson gun in the process.

When the gun Grande allegedly possessed was located, police said it was found with a 15-round magazine and had one round in the chamber. No other weapons were found.

Thankful no one was hurt in the weekend incident, Fiorentini told WHAV his office is working to make sure violence does not become Haverhill’s new normal.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to keep them safe. We’ve added 23 officers, we’re going to fill these vacancies and keep police on the streets,” said Fiorentini. “Unfortunately these things are becoming normal around the country but we will never let them become normal in Haverhill.”

In addition to Grande and Millis, Providence, R.I. man Jose Rosado was arrested in connection with the shooting. All were arraigned in Haverhill District Court on assorted weapons charges. Grande remains held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing next week, while Millis and Rosado were held on $50,000 bail each ahead of their next court appearances in mid-October.

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