Shooting death at Lynn City Hall

Cops: Man shot self after grabbing officer’s gun

By O’Ryan Johnson
Friday, October 8, 2010

A man apparently shot himself in the head after struggling with a Lynn police officer for his service weapon as the cop worked a detail in front of Lynn City Hall yesterday, police said.

Lynn police Lt. William Sharpe said an officer was on a paid detail at a Verizon work site when a man attacked him.

“The attack was unprovoked,” Sharpe said.

He said during the fracas the man grabbed the officer’s gun. Sharpe said a Verizon worker attempted to come to the officer’s aid. A witness told police the worker pulled the man off of the cop. Once the man had control of the officer’s gun, he shot himself, Sharpe said.

The officer was injured in the struggle, but Sharpe said he was not hit by gunfire. The officer has been placed on paid leave while the circumstances of the shooting are investigated. Sharpe said police have several direct witnesses to the mayhem, and so far each has backed up the officer’s initial account of the story that he was attacked unprovoked.

Police did not identify the dead man, pending notification of next of kin. They said he was not working at the Verizon job site.

Kirsten Anderson, 29, of Lynn said minutes before the shooting, she was walking into the courthouse about two blocks from the shooting.

She said she saw the man walking out of the courthouse and toward City Hall.

The area around the shooting was sealed off by police tape, and large crowds swelled and were dispersed as police investigated the scene. City workers peered down at the carnage from their offices floors above.

The man’s body remained in the street covered by a white sheet. Within the crime scene a Verizon truck was parked beside an open manhole and a Verizon hard hat lay on the ground near the body.

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