Monday, February 8, 2016

Lynn and Lowell Shootings

"Family of man killed by Lynn police questions official account" by Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  February 01, 2016

LYNN — The rumors began early Friday morning.

Friends and neighbors said the 33-year-old Lynn man shot and killed by police was Dorothy McClain’s son, Randolph, but she did not believe them. Then news reports named him, and photos of his body lying near the intersection of Nichols and Western avenues were posted on social media and widely shared.

Still, McClain needed to hear it from police.

“I called the Lynn Police Department, and said I was calling, ‘in regards to my son Randolph McClain,’ and I want to know if the Lynn police killed him,” said McClain, 56, of Salem.

After 45 minutes, a lieutenant called her back and offered his condolences: Randolph McClain, her son and a father of three, was dead. He had been shot after he allegedly brandished a firearm before at least three officers and hijacked a stranger’s car in an attempt to evade arrest, the lieutenant said.

“Unfortunately, word of mouth was quicker than the police station is,” McClain said Sunday, an hour before she met with family members to discuss funeral preparations.

At that meeting, she huddled with Randolph’s siblings and the mother of his three children near the Goodrich Funeral Home on Washington Street, where he will be remembered Friday in a service.

On Sunday afternoon, over the telephone and in person, the emotional group flatly rejected the version of events offered by the Lynn police and district attorney’s office as to why, and how, Randolph McClain died. 

So what are they saying, that the use of force was excessive?

“I don’t know why they shot him,” McClain said. “Everyone has their own viewpoint, but if you were not here then you don’t know the true story. Don’t fabricate.”

On Thursday, McClain said, a state trooper came to her house looking for her son. The trooper said Randolph McClain had outstanding arrest warrants and should turn himself in, she said. Authorities said McClain allegedly threatened his ex-girlfriend and her family with a gun.

McClain said she was unable to reach her son.

Dorothy Bogard, Randolph McClain’s sister, also said she does not believe the police’s narrative of the shooting. The family contends that McClain was not armed during the police chase and that he was only holding a cellphone.

“They’re portraying him to be a monster. He had the biggest heart,” Bogard said. “He loved his children and he loved his family.”

McClain had three children, ages 6, 3, and 1, with a woman named Tina Brown, according to his surviving family members.

McClain said the family gathered the children together over the weekend to tell them that their father had died. After learning the news, one child said, “I know dad is an angel now,” according to McClain.

On Friday, law enforcement officials said that McClain threatened to kill four officers near a home at 106 Bay View Ave., as they attempted to arrest him on a warrant for violating a restraining order and making threats to his former girlfriend.

After the alleged threat to officers, police said McClain crawled out a second-floor window, pointed a gun at an officer from a porch, then jumped to the ground and led police on a foot chase through several backyards, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said at a press conference Friday.

As he fled on the street, McClain allegedly ordered a woman out of her black Lexus at gunpoint, and jumped into the driver’s seat.

“As officers approached the vehicle, he pointed his gun at them,” Blodgett said. “At that point, three officers fired their weapons at him.”

Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for Blodgett, on Sunday repeated that police had recovered the firearm at the scene Friday.

McClain was allegedly holding the gun in the car and throughout the chase.

Kimball Monahan also said that department procedure is to notify a victim’s family before the name is publicly released, but the department cannot control the information spread in the media or online.

Although she said she empathizes with the relatives’ grief, their assertion that McClain was unarmed is incorrect, Kimball Monahan said. On Friday, a witness interviewed by the Globe said she heard someone yell, “Put the gun down! Put the gun down!”

In 2004, McClain pleaded guilty to armed assault with the intent to murder, and three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He served more than seven years in the Essex Correctional Facility in Middleton, according to court records and family statements.

Brown, the mother of McClain’s children, flooded her social media accounts with pictures of McClain, including a family portrait of the parents and their three children. “Happier days,” read the caption.


"Police officer shoots suspect in Lowell home invasion" by Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff   February 07, 2016

Two men allegedly involved in an armed home invasion, including one who was shot by a Lowell police officer, may have been impersonating police officers when they broke into a Pine Hill Street residence Saturday night, according to a statement released Sunday.

Maybe they were just having fun.

Investigators allegedly found phony police badges and handcuffs while searching for evidence at 29 Pine Hill St., where Lowell police said they received a report of a home invasion around 8:17 p.m. Saturday.

At the residence, police said, Timothy Berry, 48, of Haverhill, pointed a loaded .45 caliber, semiautomatic firearm at the first officer to arrive. Berry was shot twice and is being treated at a Boston hospital for gunshot wounds. His injuries are not life-threatening, police said.

Police said Berry was conscious and alert immediately after the shooting.

He faces charges of armed home invasion and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, police said.

The officer who fired at him was not identified and has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, police said. The officer was not injured.

Also arrested in the home invasion was Christopher Covey, 46, of Groveland, police said. He was initially taken to Lowell General Hospital for injuries he sustained while trying to flee the residence.

Covey is now in the custody of Lowell police. He has been charged with armed home invasion.

Police said additional charges may be brought against Berry and Covey, whom they described as having “lengthy criminal records.”

Investigators executed a search warrant at the residence and found “a large amount of marijuana and cash,” according to police, who said a preliminary investigation indicated that the victims of the home invasion were targeted.

Authorities did not announce any charges against the people in the home.

State Police assigned to the Middlesex district attorney’s office are also investigating the crime. A spokeswoman for the DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.



"The dead body of a 28-year-old student was found Sunday morning at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, officials said. “The State Police have determined that the death is non-suspicious,” the university said in a statement. “The university has reached out to the student’s family as part of our campus response. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and offer our condolences to the student’s family and loved ones.” The body was found in a bathroom in Ball Hall on the university’s North Campus, said Lowell Police Captain Timothy Crowley. The student, who was not identified, was enrolled at UMass Lowell but did not live on campus, he said. Ball Hall is an academic building that houses offices, labs, and classrooms for the plastics and electrical and computer engineering departments, according to the university’s website. The cause of death was not immediately known. UMass Lowell, State Police, and the Middlesex district attorney’s office are investigating." 

How can it be anything but suspicious?

Also see:

"A 21-year-old student at University of Massachusetts Amherst died early Friday after falling from a fourth floor of a building on the school’s campus, officials said. James Tilley, a Windham, N.H. native, fell around 2 a.m. from the Hasbrouck Laboratory building, and died at the scene, according to Edward Blaguszewski, a university spokesman. The cause of death will be determined by a state medical examiner, he said. Blaguszewski said that the incident is not suspicious and that foul play is not suspected. Blaguszewski did not know whether the building was open at the time. The circumstances of the fall are under investigation by State Police working with Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office, which is standard procedure for unattended deaths. Tilley was a senior studying physics and mathematics, according to an e-mail sent to the campus community from David C. Vaillancourt, senior associate dean of students. Tilley was part of the Commonwealth Honors College, a member of the Society of Physics Students."


What did he do, question 9/11?

Hopefully it was not something worse.

Maybe it was drink or drugs:

"UMass Dartmouth launches campaign to deter heroin use" by Evan Allen Globe Staff  February 08, 2016

After two apparent heroin overdoses — one fatal — within two days at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, administrators are launching a campaign to educate the campus about the dangers of the drug.

Where did you get this stuff?

A 20-year-old political science major died of an apparently accidental overdose Jan. 29, according to letters from student affairs officials and the school’s director of public safety that were sent to the school community Thursday.

“[The student’s] father has expressed to us his hope that something good can come from this tragedy, and we must commit ourselves to that goal,” read one of the letters.

The father declined through a university spokesman to be interviewed and requested that his son’s name not be printed.

His mother could not be reached Saturday.

Two days after the death, according to school officials, another student suffered an apparent overdose, but survived after a friend called police and they gave him a drug to reverse the effects. UMass Dartmouth police and emergency medical personnel gave the young man a dose of Narcan, which increasingly is being carried by emergency responders.

“This is not new. This is an epidemic that’s been traveling the country and hitting people of all ages and all backgrounds, and it’s been getting worse over the last couple years,” said Dr. David Milstone, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, one of the coordinators of the campaign.

It's killing four a day in Massachusetts, and someone made a good point about how the compassion regarding this crisis only began when the problem extended in wealthy areas. 

The university already does a lot of substance abuse outreach, Milstone said, beginning when students arrive for orientation.

But the Jan. 29 death struck close to home.

“When it’s somebody they know or knew or is close to them, all the sudden, they listen differently,” said Milstone, who oversees all out-of-classroom student development activities, including health and counseling.

Milstone said the number one drug of choice on campus, according to annual surveys, is alcohol, followed by marijuana and prescription drugs. In the 30 days preceding the survey, he said, 11 percent of students reported taking some other type of drug.

A spokesman said the university, which has about 9,000 students, has seen only one possible nonfatal overdose in the past two years before the death and the incident with the other student.

With the two apparent overdoses occurring so close together, Milstone said, students, faculty, and school officials agreed they had to reach out to the community.

“We weren’t hiding anything,” he said. “This happens in our home, as well, it’s not just over there. We want them to understand all the resources available.”

The university flag has been flying at half-mast in memory of the student who died and the Campanile, a bell tower at the center of campus, has been illuminated in purple, in recognition of the Project Purple Initiative, a nonprofit that helps individuals and families struggling with addiction and seeks to break the stigma surrounding addiction.

The school will hold group discussions in residence halls for students, and an all-campus gathering will be held Tuesday at noon in the library.

Another letter will be sent to parents about the apparent overdoses and the resources available for students.

Student leaders will meet to brainstorm ideas for additional responses, and faculty will be provided with information to use for class discussions.

School officials also plan to redouble efforts to educate students about the university’s medical amnesty policy, which allows students to get help for themselves or others without fear of legal or disciplinary repercussions.

A public showing of the documentary “Heroin: Cape Cod USA,” which explores addiction through interviews with sufferers and their parents, will also be held.

“The scourge that’s affecting the nation and wreaking havoc here in Massachusetts has landed on our doorstep and is haunting our campus,” wrote Cynthia E. Cummings, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, in one of the letters. “Are we prepared to handle this? Are we up for the fight it will take to eliminate it?”



Man shot by Lowell police released from hospital

Mystery surrounds death of Pittsfield girl, 11

No mystery about from what I'm told.