Suspect arrested in shooting of Hadley man, 51; investigation continues


Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 04, 2023

HADLEY — A Hadley man is recuperating at home and his alleged assailant is in custody in Connecticut following a shooting on Mill Valley Road on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.

The incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. in the area of 102 Mill Valley Road, and injured a 51-year-old man, who was taken by Action Ambulance to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, a Facebook post by Hadley police states.

Officials did not release the name of the shooting victim, but he was identified publicly on Facebook posts as Bruce Jenks, who runs the Maple Valley Creamery.

In a Monday Facebook post, the Mill Valley Milk Store expressed appreciation for people’s support. “We are happy to report Bruce will be back at the farm today and our store will reopen. We all are so grateful for your concern and support.”

Following the shooting, a 28-year-old Waterbury, Connecticut, man was identified as the suspect and was arrested in that city after an investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies.

With assistance from Massachusetts State Police, a warrant was obtained for the man’s arrest on charges of assault to murder (armed with a firearm), assault and battery with a firearm, attempt to commit a crime, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a firearms identification card and carrying a loaded firearm without a license, Hadley Police Chief Michael Mason said on Tuesday.

Mason said the district attorney’s office is not releasing the name of the suspect, who will face an extradition hearing in the neighboring state.

Mason added that Jenks has returned home. “We have had multiple conversations with him, and he seems to be doing well,” Mason said.

While the matter is still under investigation, Mason said Jenks was targeted.

“I can safely say that this was not a random act, but we are not yet able to release the potential reason for the shooting,” Mason said.

The Maple Valley Creamery includes the Mill Valley Milk Store and the seasonal Scoop at the Silos. The store’s Facebook post shows some of the children’s illustrations, of cows being milked and in front of a barn, and “get well” messages that have been dropped off.

The post states Jenks went to the intersection for what appeared to be a broken-down vehicle, then assisted the driver with jumper cables to get the vehicle started, at which time the driver drew a small handgun and demanded Jenks get into the car.

“A short struggle ensued which resulted in Bruce getting shot in the shoulder,” the post reads.

In an email to the Gazette, Jenks wrote that he was not at liberty to speak publicly about the shooting.

“There’s nothing I can talk about at this time because there is still an ongoing investigation and the police have asked us not to comment,” Jenks wrote.

In addition to Hadley police, other agencies involved in the investigation include the detective unit assigned to the Northwestern district attorney’s office, the Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services, the State Police Firearms Identification Section, University of Massachusetts Police and the Hadley Department of Public Works.