Wakefield and Reading residents have been asked to shelter in place as Massachusetts State Police deal with a standoff that has shut down Interstate 95 in Wakefield. The highway was closed in both directions between Lynnfield and Stoneham Saturday morning.
Two people were arrested around 6:45 a.m. State Police said they had “several armed persons accounted for at this scene” who were “refusing to comply with orders to provide their information and put down their weapons.”
They are working to resolve it peacefully.
The standoff stems from a traffic stop hours earlier where about eight men, armed with rifles and handguns, claimed “to be from a group that does not recognize our laws” and ran into the woods, Wakefield Police said. “No threats were made, but these men should be considered armed and dangerous.”
“They have a group of people here who are obviously armed and dangerous and who are talking about some type of ideology,” WBZ security expert and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. “You don’t know how far people like this are willing to go.”
Davis said he thought it sounded like “some sort of militia group.”
According to I-Team sources, the men were wearing camouflage, bullet-resistant vests, and full-face masks.
They said they don’t respect the laws of the United States or see the authority of police, sources said, but they also want a peaceful resolution and would like to go on their way peacefully. The group has allegedly told negotiators that they are not extremists, anti-government, or threatening police.
“Just sit tight. Don’t go outside. Stay in your house and keep an eye on TV,” Davis asked Wakefield and Reading residents who are sheltering in place.
“It is extremely unusual for Massachusetts State Police to shut down a major highway,” he said.
Story cited here.