NEW BEDFORD — A 20-year-old New Bedford man was ordered held without bail Monday in connection with the shooting last week of a city detective.
The suspect, Cheybane Vasconcelos-Furtado, was driving a vehicle at the intersection of Orchard and Rivet Streets on July 17, when shots were fired from the back passenger seat, a prosecutor said.
New Bedford Police Detective Lavar Gilbert was working undercover in an unmarked vehicle in the vicinity of Ashley Park around 8:45 p.m. when he was struck in the face by a bullet, according to police. Another individual received a gunshot wound in the foot that police said is related to the incident.
Police arrested Vasconcelos-Furtado Sunday afternoon. He has been charged with two counts of armed assault with intent to murder, two counts of assault and battery by discharge of a firearm, and two counts of wanton destruction of property in connection with the shooting.
The vehicle police said Vasconcelos-Furtado was operating — a white Honda Accord — and two others were seen on video surveillance traveling in a “coordinated fashion like a fleet in unison,” the night of the shooting, assistant district attorney Shawn Guilderson told the judge. “… video shows multiple muzzle flashes from the rear of that vehicle that’s being operated by the defendant.”
He also said Vasconcelos-Furtado was at the memorial site for his cousin, Lorenzo Gomes, a 20-year-old man who was shot and killed on July 3, with several individuals before heading to Orchard and Rivet Streets.
Guilderson said further video surveillance and highway plate readers show the vehicle left the state after the shooting and was dumped in Rhode Island with the plates removed.
Judge Joseph Harrington granted the state’s request that Vasconcelos-Furtado be held without bail under rule 58A, which allows for pretrial detention for up to 120 days. The judge also allowed a motion to impound the police report for 30 days.
The courtroom fell quiet when Police Chief Paul Oliveira and more than 20 police officers entered, filling three rows before Vasconcelos-Furtado was called before the judge.
Oliveira said a majority of the officers present are detectives in the department, like Gilbert, and that some are working on the active investigation.
Pssst! Got an important news tip? Contact us confidentially at TIPS@newbedfordlight.org.
The arrest was made at a home on Worcester Street with assistance from Massachusetts State Police detectives, MSP Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section officers, and federal agents, police said.
As of Monday morning, no other arrests had been made, a spokesperson with the Bristol DA’s office confirmed. The investigation remains active and ongoing with cooperation from multiple agencies.
“We will not rest until each person connected with this shooting has taken a seat in our booking room,” said Chief Oliveira in a statement Sunday.
Detective Gilbert was released from a Boston hospital on Friday. He drove himself to St. Luke’s Hospital after being shot. New Bedford police say he will need to return for a follow-up procedure in the near future. Oliveira said police are keeping him apprised of the case.
He has served the department for 17 years, much of it in the narcotics division.
Vasconcelos-Furtado has other pending cases in New Bedford District Court, including for drug possession, records show.
According to the police report for a case opened last month, a state trooper pulled over Vasconcelos-Furtado, who was driving a white Honda Accord. He was subsequently charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; that court case is ongoing.
The next court date is Aug. 25 for a probable cause hearing. Attorney Amy McNamee is representing Vasconcelos-Furtado.
Email Anastasia E. Lennon at firstname.lastname@example.org.