A group of heavily armed men was involved in an ongoing standoff Saturday with Massachusetts police, prompting shelter-in-place orders in some areas and leading to massive delays over the holiday weekend as a portion of Interstate 95 remained closed.
The confrontation began around 2 a.m. when police noticed two cars stopped on I-95 with their hazard lights on, authorities said at a news conference Saturday.
Eight to 10 men were dressed in military-style clothing and carried long guns and pistols, said Colonel Christopher Mason of the Massachusetts State Police.
The men refused to lay down their weapons or comply with authorities’ orders, claiming to be from a group “that does not recognize our laws,” police said.
They entered a wooded area. By mid-morning on Saturday, two men had been arrested.
The officials used negotiators to interact with the other suspects.
“Time is our ally in this and we will certainly use it,” Mason said.
The standoff closed part of I-95 in Wakefield in both directions, causing heavy traffic as people hit the road over the July 4 weekend.
In Massachusetts, I-95 runs from the Rhode Island line around Boston to the New Hampshire line. Wakefield is just east of the junction of I-95 and I-93, north of Boston.
Wakefield and Reading residents were advised to lock their doors and shelter in place.
Wakefield police said in their statement that no threats had been made, but that the men were considered armed and dangerous.