WAKEFIELD—A group of heavily-armed men are engaged in an ongoing standoff Saturday with Massachusetts police, prompting shelter-in-place orders in some areas and sparking massive delays on the holiday weekend as a portion of Interstate 95 remains shut down.
The standoff began around 2 a.m. when police noticed two cars pulled over on I-95 with hazard lights on, authorities said at a Saturday press briefing.
Between eight to 10 men were clad in military-style gear with long guns and pistols, Mass State Police Col. Christopher Mason said.
The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’ orders, claiming to be from a group “that does not recognize our laws,” police said. They took off into a wooded area, where two men have been arrested.
Officials are using negotiators to interact with the other suspects.
“Time is our ally in this and we will certainly utilize this,” Mason said.
The standoff shut down part of I-95 in Wakefield in both directions, prompting heavy traffic as people hit the road for the Fourth of July weekend.
In Massachusetts, Interstate 95 runs from the Rhode Island line, around Boston to the New Hampshire line. Wakefield is just east of where Interstate 95 and 93 meet north of Boston.
Residents in Wakefield and nearby Reading were advised to lock their doors and shelter in place.
Wakefield police said in its statement that no threats had been made but the men were considered armed and dangerous.