11 people detained after armed standoff on Massachusetts interstate highway lasts for hours
Wakefield, quality. -Massachusetts State Police said that hours-long confrontation with a group of heavily armed men resulted in the partial closure of Interstate 95, which ended on Saturday and 11 suspects were detained.
For most of the morning, the standoff resulted in a partial closure of I-95, causing serious traffic problems during the July 4th holiday weekend. Authorities said the interstate highway has now been reopened, and the shelter-in-place orders of Wakefield and Reading have been cancelled.
The authorities said at a press conference on Saturday that when the police noticed that the two cars had apparently ran out of fuel, the two cars stopped on I-95 and turned on the warning lights. The deadlock started at about 2 am .
Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason said that at least some of the suspects were wearing military equipment and armed with spears and pistols. He added that they are travelling from Rhode Island to Maine for “training.”
Mason said: “You can imagine that 11 armed men were standing on the interstate highway with long guns at 2 am. This will definitely cause people to worry, and it’s not in line with our gun laws in Massachusetts.
In a video posted on social media on Saturday morning, a man who asked not to be named stated that he was from a group called “The Rise of the Moors”, which was located at No. 95 near Exit 57 in Wakefield. Broadcast on the interstate.
“We are not anti-government. We are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we are not black identity extremists,” said the man who appeared to be wearing military equipment. “As pointed out to the police many times, we abide by the peaceful travel laws of the United States.”
The group’s website states that they are “Moorish Americans dedicated to educating the new Moors and influencing our elders.”
Mason said he understands that suspects without a gun license have a different view of the law.
“I appreciate this view,” he said. “After all, I disagree with that view, but I admit that it does exist.”
Mason said he did not know the organization, but it is not uncommon for the state police to encounter people with a “sovereign citizen ideology,” although he does not know whether the people involved in the Wakefield standoff were part of it.
The police said these people refused to lay down their weapons or obey the orders of the authorities, claiming that they were from a group that “didn’t recognize our laws” and then entered a forest area.
Mason said the suspects surrendered after the police tactical team used armored vehicles to tighten the cordon around them.
The police initially reported that nine suspects were detained, but later on Saturday morning two more were detained in their car. The two suspects were hospitalized, but the police said this was because the pre-existing illness had nothing to do with the deadlock.
The police and prosecutors are working to determine what charges the members of the organization will face.
Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said the suspect is expected to appear in court in Woburn on Tuesday.