HAVERHILL — A city man who police say terrorized his neighbors by shooting a gun outside his home and threatening people in the neighborhood is spending time in jail after pleading guilty to various charges.
Police said a video on Facebook showed Daniel Brignoni, 21, of 28 Franklin St., Apt. 3-F, firing a gun into the air while sitting in a car. In once instance, investigators said they received report of him knocking on a neighbor’s door, pointing a gun at the neighbor and laughing.
During his arraignment on Sept. 20, 2020, in Haverhill District Court, a prosecutor said Brignoni bragged on social media about eluding police during a car chase.
At that hearing, Brignoni was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, resisting arrest, assault with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct and operating a motor vehicle without a license. He was ordered held without bail.
Since then, Brignoni pleaded guilty to carrying a firearm without a license, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, according to court officials. The other charges against him were dismissed.
Judge Mary Mccabe sentenced Brignoni to two and a half years in jail, with a mandatory 18 months to be served. He was given credit for 50 days served. Brignoni was also ordered to be on probation for two years after his release from jail.
According to a police report, the investigation into Brignoni began Sept. 8, 2020, when officers responded to Franklin Street for a call about shots fired a few days earlier in the neighborhood. According to the report, officers met with a resident who said a neighbor named Danny had a gun and had fire the shots. The resident told police multiple gunshots were heard on Sept. 5 between 7 and 9 p.m., causing the neighbor to dive onto the ground, fearing for her safety, the report said.
The neighbor told police she did not call 911 when the incident happened because she thought someone else in the neighborhood would do so, according to the report.
Another person reported hearing several gunshots in front of and behind 28 Franklin St. about 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 6, according to the report. A resident of the area said a neighbor known as Danny was outside holding a gun and said if he “had enough bullets’’ he would kill some people in the neighborhood, according to the report. Police said Brignoni once knocked on a neighbor’s door and, when the door opened, he pointed a gun at the neighbor while laughing.
During the police investigation, a review of people who live at 28 Franklin St. revealed Brignoni is a tenant there, the police report said.
While they were looking into Brignoni’s background, police did a Facebook search and found a profile for Danny Brignoni of Haverhill, according to the report. The profile photo showed a man holding a gray handgun, the report said.
Detectives then viewed Facebook posts from the previous 24 hours, including one that mentioned Brignoni being in a “high speed chase last night,” according to the report. Haverhill police had tried unsuccessfully to stop a blue car with New Hampshire plates Sept. 7. A subsequent Facebook video post showed Brignoni in the driver’s seat of a car and holding a gray handgun in his left hand, according to the report. In the video viewed by police, Brignoni pointed the gun in the air and fired a shot, the report said.
In addition to gathering social media evidence, Haverhill officers found gun shell casings near a home that abuts the rear of 28 Franklin St. Using that information, police set up surveillance in the area of 28 Franklin St. on Sept. 8, the report said.
Brignoni was arrested Sept. 8 after officers followed him from his home to a Richdale convenience store on White Street, the report said. According to the police report, when officers approached and identified themselves, Brignoni ran away and, in doing so, fell to the ground. An unloaded gray 9-mm handgun was found inside a fanny pack he was wearing, the report said.
In an interview after his arrest, Brignoni admitted he shot the gun outside his home while he was in a car “a few nights ago,” according to the police report. Brignoni said he often has his gun with him in the backyard of his home, the report said.
Brignoni told investigators he was driving the car during the chase which police viewed on the Facebook video, the report said. Asked why he later ran from officers outside the convenience store, Brignoni said he was drunk and did not want to get in trouble, according to the report.
Brignoni also told investigators that he bought the gun for $500 from a man in Fitchburg and that he loves guns.