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· MassCops Angel
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Video: Uncut: E. Bridgewater Gunman Alert

E. Bridgewater Schools Closed After Gunman Alert

BOSTON -- East Bridgewater schools were closed for the day as a precaution after police warned residents that an gunman was on the loose early Tuesday.

The armed person was located in the vicinity of Spring Street, near the high school, police said, and the threat was eliminated, but schools were to remain closed.

Few details were available, but several residents said the entire town was notified of the school closings through the use of an automated telephone alert system. They were told schools were closed because of a "public emergency."

The first alert was from the superintendent of schools and the second from the East Bridgewater police chief, residents said. They received the alerts about 6 a.m. and the alert from police said "there was an armed person loose in the western section of East Bridgewater and to stay indoors."

There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

· Subscribing Member
7,248 Posts
East Bridgewater Man Kills Self After Standoff

EAST BRIDGEWATER -- Schools are closed here today after a long-time resident became despondent and took his own life early this morning even as police tried to help him, police said.
The man, identified as 35-year-old Chad Hirtle, shot himself once with a handgun around 6:20 a.m. in a field off Spring street, ending the incident that began shortly after 2 a.m., said Sergeant Steven Brown, a department spokesman.
Schools were closed because Hirtle was not in custody at 6 a.m., which is the time a school closing decision must be made, Brown said.
During the incident, Hirtle fired seven rounds from his handgun, but Brown said it was not clear if he was shooting at officers, or discharging it in the air.
Brown said police first encountered Hirtle's wife as she drove back and forth on Spring street in this South Shore town early in the morning. She told police she was looking for her husband, who had become despondent and was armed.
Brown said the Satucket Regional Tactical Team, a SWAT team from neighboring police departments, was activated, a search was mounted and Hirtle was located in the field off Spring Street behind a crane company yard.
Negotiators spoke with Hirtle and police eventually got close enough to shoot him twice with beanbag shotguns, a less-than-lethal weapon designed to knock a person down. But Brown said that as officers rushed him and tried to wrestle the weapon away, he managed to fire one shot, killing himself.
Brown said he knew Hirtle personally and it was not immediately clear what triggered his actions. Brown said Hirtle was the father of three children, "was a great dad,'' and was not known to be suffering financially.
He also said Hirtle had a valid firearms identification card and was licensed to carry a handgun.

· Retired Fed, Active Special
8,895 Posts
Good Job by EBPD and Satucket SRT. It isn't easy when a resident of the town inexplicably loses it and these guys tried so hard to end it on a positive note. I know these guys and I'm sure that Chief Cowan and the town residents are proud of them. I know I am.
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