EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 2, 2013

Suspect charged with assaulting girlfriend, dozens of guns found

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

---- — GROVELAND — Police in Groveland were prepared for a possible standoff with a man who had locked himself inside his home with a large quantity of firearms after he allegedly assaulted his 43-year-old girlfriend. A state police SWAT team was called in as backup, but after speaking to the man via his cellphone he surrendered.

Police said they confiscated dozens of handguns and hunting rifles, for which they said the man was legally licensed to own.

“It was a lot of guns,” said Groveland Police Chief Robert Kirmelewicz. “In my 28 years I can only recall one other time when we took this many guns out of a residence.”

Police charged Michael Sheedy, 57, of 183 King St. with domestic assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace. At Sheedy’s arraignment yesterday in Haverhill District Court, Assistant District Attorney Stephen Patten asked Judge Stephen Abany to find probable cause to hold Sheedy pending a dangerousness hearing. Patten said Sheedy takes medication for depression and drinks alcohol as well, and owns dozens of firearms.

“His depression mixed with alcohol and firearms is a potentially lethal situation,” Patten said.

Abany ordered Sheedy held without bail and scheduled a dangerousness hearing for today. Sheedy said he planned on hiring a defense lawyer who will be in court with him today.

“With alcohol and guns, everyone is justifiably concerned,” Abany said.

During yesterday’s hearing, Sheedy’s girlfriend requested and was granted a restraining order against Sheedy. Abany, noting that he was holding Sheedy without bail overnight, ordered him to have no contact with her by any means.

“I love him and I care for him very much,” the woman told Abany. “I’m not here to make him look bad. I just did what I had to do (by calling the police) and I want him to know it’s not right (hitting her) and I’m not against him.”

On Sunday at about 9:34 p.m., the Groveland Police Department received a 911 call from a woman outside of a 183 King St. home. Police said the woman reported being assaulted by Sheedy, the owner of the home. When officers arrived, Sheedy was alone and locked inside the home with a cache of firearms.

While officers waited outside, Groveland Police Sgt. Dwight McDonald was at the station checking on Sheedy’s gun registrations.

“When we found out that type of firepower was in the house we took all the necessary precautions, including calling in the STOP Team,” Police Chief Robert Kirmelewicz, said in reference to the State Police Special Tactical Operations Team.

He said Georgetown and West Newbury Police Departments were initially called for backup and the and K-9 units were also called in for assistance.

At approximately 12:20 a.m., McDonald contacted Sheedy via his cell phone. Sheedy surrendered peacefully without incident at 12:34 a.m.

“We didn’t know if we were in for a standoff,” Kirmelewicz said.

Kirmelewicz said police have not had any past dealings with Sheedy, and has a FID card and licensed to carry handguns.

“I suspended his license first thing and his weapons were confiscated,” Kirmelewicz said, noting Sheedy’s weapons included semi-automatic pistols, revolvers, hunting rifles, black powder rifles along with dozens of boxes of ammunition.

Sheedy’s girlfriend told Abany that Sheedy drinks alcohol every day, takes medication for depression and often gets angry when he drinks and will “shake her.” She said she’s known Sheedy for about a year and has been living with him at his home since April.

The woman told Abany that on Sunday night Sheedy was drinking and was blaring music, and that he became very angry when she asked him to turn it down and that Sheedy took her baseball cap and kept violently striking her face with it.