Two vehicles being driven through Cambridge with the occupants firing guns at each other is what an off-duty police officer responded to on his way to work Thursday around 2:34 p.m. near Central Square.
No one was seriously injured or killed, but an occupant of one of the vehicles did sustain a “superficial” gunshot wound to the top of his head, Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard Jr. said during a Thursday evening press conference.
He called the incident a “moving gun battle.” At least 12 shots are believed to have been fired between two separate locations, Bard said — seven at Chestnut and Sidney streets, where the incident is believed to have begun, plus five more at a second scene at Columbia and Main streets.
“It’s disturbing,” Bard said. “It rips at your feelings of safety, you know — broad daylight, middle of the afternoon in a school day, when you got folks brazen enough to discharge weapons in the middle of the highway. It’s disturbing.”
Two occupants of one of the vehicle were taken into custody, and both are facing a slew of related charges.
Ladjuan Guichard, 20, of Roslindale, is being charged with armed assault to murder, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, possession of a large capacity firearm, and carrying a firearm without a license, according to Cambridge police.
Jokeem Nelson, 23, of Cambridge, who was brought to the hospital with the gunshot wound, is planned to be arraigned on charges of armed assault to murder, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop for police once he is released from treatment, police said.
Police said that after the exchange of gunfire at Chestnut and Sidney streets, one of the vehicles involved drove off toward Central Square.
That’s when the off-duty officer spotted one of the vehicles, a black sedan. He gave a description of the vehicle to the officers headed to the scene, and it was stopped in the area of the Land Boulevard and Binney Street, police said.
Police found a firearm on Memorial Drive near the Charles River Yacht Club, Bard said. They believe it belonged to either Guichard or Nelson.
Police are continuing to gather information from witnesses and any camera footage, Bard said. The other vehicle involved is also believed to be a dark sedan, but there were other descriptions given, too.
Police are still ironing out all the details, but one witness account said one or both vehicles traveled in reverse at one point, and one of them struck a parked vehicle, according to Bard. At least one vehicle also sustained damage from gunfire.
Watch the full news conference here: