Interstate 95 is shut down in both the northbound and southbound directions in Wakefield as a negotiation team engages with a group of armed men.
A Massachusetts State Police trooper came upon a group of heavily armed men traveling northbound on Interstate 95 early Saturday.
The trooper found men in multiple vehicles in the breakdown lane, refueling the vehicles. The occupants of the vehicle were dressed in military-style tactical gear. Some had long rifles, some side pistols, Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason told reporters on Saturday.
The group refused to comply with orders to put their weapons down and provide information about their identities. Mason said they’ve learned the group was traveling from Rhode Island to Maine for what was described as “training.”
The trooper requested backup and additional state police as well as local police responded.
About eight men fled into the woods near the interstate while heavily armed. A pair of men have been taken into custody by state police.
State and local authorities declined to identify the group the men are part of and Mason said he was unaware of it prior to Saturday.
Wakefield Police Department said the men claim “to be from a group that does not recognize our laws.”
The department added, in a statement. “No threats were made, but these men should be considered armed and dangerous. We are asking residents in these areas to lock their doors and remain inside their homes. A heavy police presence will be in this area as well.”
A perimeter is set up along the woodline and residents are asked to avoid Interstate 95 in both directions in Wakefield. The Commuter T line that runs through the active area is also shutdown.
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