David Scott, Chief of Police
59 Main St.
Pepperell, MA 01463
For Immediate Release
Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Pepperell Police Arrest Man on Firearms and Drug Charges After He Suffered a Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound
PEPPERELL — Chief David Scott reports that the Pepperell Police Department arrested a man today on numerous weapon and drug charges after officers responded to a report of a shooting on Groton Street.
Following an investigation, FRANCIS BANISTER, AGE 19, OF PEPPERELL was arrested and charged with:
- Possession of a Firearm Without an FID Card (two counts)
- Possession of Ammunition Without an FID Card
- Discharging a Firearm within 500 Feet of a Building
- Improper Storage of a Firearm (two counts)
- Violation of a Firearm Surrender Order
- Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device
- Wanton Destruction of Property Over $250
- Possession of Over One Ounce of Marijuana By a Person Under Age 21
- Possession of a Class B Drug (two counts)
- Possession of a Class E Drug (three counts)
- Misleading a Police Officer
- Providing a False Crime Report
At approximately 3 a.m., Pepperell Police Officers responded to Groton Street following a 911 call requesting an ambulance. Upon arrival, officers found a man, later identified as BANISTER, with an apparent gunshot wound to his left leg.
BANISTER allegedly told officers that he had been walking down Leighton Street when a white vehicle drove by him, and one of its occupants opened fire and struck him. He was transported to a nearby hospital, and officers began conducting an investigation into the shooting.
During the investigation, Pepperell Police responded to a call for assistance at an apartment complex on Leighton Street. Upon arrival, officers conducted a preliminary investigation and learned that a bullet had been shot through the resident’s bathroom wall from the neighboring apartment, where BANISTER is believed to have suffered his wound while visiting with a friend.
Upon further investigation, officers determined that the gunshot wound BANISTER suffered was self-inflicted, and subsequently seized firearms and firearm parts from his friend’s residence. Officers also obtained a search warrant for BANISTER’S residence, where they located and seized a large capacity magazine, multiple rounds of ammunition and several illegal drugs.
“This is a prime example of why firearms should never be in the hands of unlicensed individuals,” Chief Scott said. “I commend our officers for investigating this incident fully and efficiently, and I’m thankful that nobody else was injured.”
BANISTER turned himself in to Fitchburg Police, and has since been turned over to Pepperell Police. He is currently being held without bail pending his arraignment Monday in Ayer District Court.