Springfield police probe two reports of gunfire

By Mark Baker | Local News | |

SPRINGFIELD — Two separate incidents, both involving 22-year-old men allegedly shooting off .22-caliber handguns in the morning hours, were reported by Springfield police on Saturday.

In the first incident, which police said might have been race-related, 22-year-old Jeffrey David Braden of Springfield was arrested and charged with drug possession, stealing a handgun and unlawful use of it during a neighborhood dispute between white males and black males, police said.

An officer observed Braden trying to conceal something in his waistband and found the .22-caliber handgun in his pants after he was taken into custody near V Street and Shadylane Drive about 2 a.m., police said.

Braden was charged with first-degree theft of a handgun, reckless endangerment of another human being, unlawful use and possession of the gun and possession of methamphetamine, police said.

The dispute involved several people and turned into a fight in the street, with people heard chanting “white power,” police said.

Several of the men involved fled when police arrived, and witnesses to the fight were unable to confirm events, police said.

No one appeared to be injured and the investigation “into intimidation is continuing,” police said.

In the second incident, which happened about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 22-year-old Joseph Lee Vandervort was arrested and charged with reckless endangering, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief in connection with gun shots fired at 732 Oakdale Ave.

Police said Vandervort fired one shot from a semi-automatic .22-caliber pistol while intoxicated during a dispute with his brother.

The bullet lodged in a house next door, but no one was injured, police said.

Anyone with information on either incident is asked to call the Springfield Police Department at 541-726-3714.