EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 16, 2013

DA probes shooting incident

Salem man faces charges after colliding into police cruiser

By Mark E. Vogler

---- — LAWRENCE — Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s Office is investigating a shooting incident involving a Lawrence police officer which left a Salem man being treated for a bullet wound early yesterday.

Alexander Castro, 20, 6 Lancelot Court, Salem, N.H., remained under guard last night at a Boston hospital where he was described as having non-life threatening injuries, according to Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a spokeswoman for Blodgett’s office.

Following his release from the hospital, Castro will be arraigned in Lawrence District Court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, operating to endanger and failure to stop for a police officer.

Meanwhile, Lawrence police Chief John Romero placed Officer John Tully on paid administrative leave while state police detectives assigned to Blodgett’s office probe the shooting incident.

It is standard procedure to have an outside law enforcement agency conduct an investigation of a shooting by a police officer and to place the officer on leave until the investigation has been completed, Kimball-Monahan said.

Tully was one of several officers who responded shortly after 5 a.m. yesterday to 131 Bennington St. for a report of a loud party. Officers noticed a man driving a 1995 Honda Civic erratically.

The man, later identified as Castro, drove toward the officers and crashed into the cruiser, according to the statement released by the district attorney.

During the incident, Tully fired one shot from his service revolver at Castro, who was able to avoid capture. Kimball-Monahan said she could not elaborate on what reason Tully gave for firing his gun.

Police were able to identify the license plate of the Honda Civic, which they learned later was registered to a driver at Castro’s Salem home. Lawrence police requested help from Salem police, who went to that address to question Castro.

Police determined that Castro was suffering from a gun shot wound to the buttocks. He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital and later transferred to a Boston hospital, where he remained last night. No officers were injured.

Kimball-Monahan said investigators haven’t determined whether Castro was at the party on Bennington Street. No information was available on the extent of the damage to police cruiser and the Honda Civic.

“Because the investigation is being conducted by the state police assigned to the district attorney’s office, I am referring all inquiries to the district attorney,” Romero said last night.