Police engage in 7-hour standoff with suspect in South End

Ernest Fields ran onto Rotch Field, Emerson College’s athletic field, just after 10 a.m. and was seen pacing back and forth throughout the day.

The man who was identified as Ernest Fields, 47, was on the Boston Police Department’s Most Wanted list. David L Ryan/Globe Staff

A 7-hour stand-off took place Tuesday in the South End after an armed man ran onto a turf field after being approached by police.

The man, who was identified as 47-year-old Ernest Fields, is on the Boston Police Department’s Most Wanted list, the Globe reported

Fields ran onto Rotch Field, Emerson College’s athletic field, just after 10 a.m. He was seen pacing back and forth throughout the day, according to WCVB. Heavily armed Boston police officers, as well as SWAT teams, Emergency Medical Services, and hostage negotiators, were on the scene for most of the day, according to the Globe. 


The standoff ended when police used “distractionary devices.” WCVB reporter Todd Kazakiewich said he heard flashbangs just before news broke that the suspect was in the custody of the police. 

In a video taken by a witness at the scene, Fields can be heard yelling expletives, among other things, and pacing around. 

Police officers on patrol first approached Fields after identifying him, according to news reports.

Police say Fields has a warrant for his arrest for armed robbery with a gun and threats. According to WCVB, Fields took out a gun when officers approached and ran onto the field. 

Boston police, EMS, and other personnel lined Albany Street in the 7-hour standoff. – David L Ryan/Globe Staff

“I hope somebody can get him some help, that’s what he needs,” Ernest Jones, Fields’s father, told WCVB. “You know, he’s homeless, he don’t have a job and all that type of stuff, so it takes a toll.” 

The gunman’s half-sister, Lashena Jones-Butler, was also present at the scene, according to the Globe, offering to help negotiate with Fields. Jones-Butler told the Globe that the deaths of Fields’s mother and brother led him to develop and struggle with mental health issues. He had also been homeless for three to four years. 


Boston Police Commissioner Gregory Long told the Globe it was “a win” that a hostage situation ended without anyone getting injured. 

“It was taxing on our hostage negotiators as well as our SWAT teams. You’re doing everything you can to bring a situation to a peaceful ending. I’ll tell you, it’s the training that they all go through — it was on full display here today,” Long told the Globe.

Throughout the day, Fields accepted food and water delivered by an armored vehicle onto the field, WCVB reported. The standoff held back traffic for most of the day in the surrounding streets, including Albany Street, as police officers and other vehicles were camped there.

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