2nd suspect arraigned in shooting that claimed life of baby delivered after mother was shot on bus

A second suspect has been arraigned on murder charges after a pregnant woman who was hit by gunfire on a bus in Holyoke, Massachusetts, delivered a baby that later died

Steve Leblanc
Friday 06 October 2023 21:30 BST

A second suspect was arraigned on murder charges Friday after a pregnant woman who was hit by gunfire on a bus in Holyoke, Massachusetts, delivered a baby that later died.

Johnluis Sanchez, 30, of Holyoke, appeared in court via Zoom for his alleged involvement in Wednesday’s shooting, investigators said. Other charges are expected to follow. Sanchez was shot during the incident and hospitalized.

Another suspect, Alejandro Ramos, 22, of Holyoke, was arraigned in Holyoke District Court on Thursday. Ramos is also facing murder charges with other charges expected to follow.

Both Ramos and Sanchez were ordered held without bail and are both due back in court on Nov. 3.

A lawyer for Sanchez did not immediately return a call. An attorney for Ramos did not immediately respond to an email and a phone call.

A Hampden District Attorney’s Office office spokesman said a “not guilty” plea would be automatically entered. Typically murder cases in Massachusetts are later brought into superior court for a grand jury indictment.

Police are looking for a third suspect but do not believe the public is at risk, Chief Mark Pratt said Thursday. All suspects are believed to have been identified, police said.

Police responded to the shooting Wednesday at 12:38 p.m. and said it appeared three male suspects were involved in an altercation before gunshots were fired. The pregnant woman, who remains unidentified, was shot while seated on a public bus passing through the area and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, investigators said.

The infant, who was delivered and needed life-saving medical services, later died.

Mayor Joshua Garcia said Thursday a relief fund has been set up for the woman’s family.

“I want members of our public to every day — through commitment and kindness, through duty and care — to please don’t lose faith,” he said at a news conference.

Garcia said he spent a few hours Wednesday night with the victim’s boyfriend, helping with “keeping watch” over the woman in critical condition.

Officials said they're developing a plan to ensure public safety.

“We’re going to be doing things immediately for more police presence, and then a longer strategic plan to just knock down these types of acts of senseless violence," said Pratt. "We’re just done dealing with them.”

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.


AP writer Holly Ramer contributed to this story from Concord, New Hampshire. AP writer David Sharp contributed to this story from Portland, Maine.

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