On Wednesday a standoff lasting more than seven hours in Ludlow ended with former Springfield Police Sgt. George Stuart shooting himself as Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet rushed in to disarm him.
According to our media partner MassLive and the Republican, Stuart is in serious condition at Baystate Medical Center.
"Our prayers are with him," said Fitchet. "I'll tell you, everybody did everything that was humanly possible to try and resolve that situation."
A press release issued from the Ludlow Police Department said, "if the subject survives his injuries it is because of the commissioner's brave actions."
Fitchet credits the work of officers who worked for hours to defuse the situation.
"It was everyone working together to try and reach a good conclusion with no one else being hurt," he said.
The Ludlow Fire Department initially responded to Stuart's home around 11 Wednesday morning for a garage fire. Shortly after that the former officer was found armed in the woods.
Stuart was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning for a hearing on his pending divorce.
Court officials say his wife Rena Brunelle had filed for divorce last month, citing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Stuart is a 30-year veteran of the police force. The 71-year-old retired back in 1997 and the commissioner has nothing but nice things to say about his former co-worker.
"He was a fine police officer and a fine man," said Fitchet. "I admire him greatly and I really felt a lot of compassion for him and what he was going through."
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