BEVERLY, Mass. (CBS/AP) — Investigators are trying to determine why an off-duty police sergeant shot and wounded an officer from another Massachusetts town before returning to the scene to commit suicide.
A spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney’s office said on Saturday that the investigation into Friday night shooting remains active.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports
Investigators say Beverly Officer Jason Lantych was found shot several times in front of a Starbucks in Beverly. He was in serious condition Friday night. Officials declined to discuss his condition Saturday, but on Beverly Police Department’s Facebook page, a message said he was “on the road to recovery.”
WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports
Officials say Hamilton police Sgt. Ken Nagy shot the 35-year-old Lantych and fled.
Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett said in a statement Saturday that witnesses helped them identify Nagy as the suspect.
The D.A., Beverly Police Chief Mark Ray, Hamilton Police Chief Russell Stevens commended the citizens who rushed to help after the shooting.
“The courage and fast action of those individuals most certainly saved Officer Lantychʼs life last night,” DA Blodgett said.
Lantych, who was shot in his leg and wrist and was bleeding profusely at the scene.
“Without regard to their own safety, several individuals exited the Starbucks and provided medical attention to Officer Lantych immediately after he was shot until the ambulance arrived,” Beverly Police Mark Ray said. “Their actions saved Jasonʼs life and they should be commended for their courage and quick thinking.”
The 43-year-old Nagy returned to the scene later Friday and fatally shot himself in his car as officers approached him.
According to officials, Nagy and Lantych knew each other. Investigators would not go into any detail about their relationship or any possible motive.
Officials did say that they had learned that the two men had arranged to meet at the Starbucks. The details and reason for that meeting have not yet been made public.
Beverly Police Chief Ray also confirmed that Sgt. Nagyʼs wife Katie was working as a domestic violence advocate with the Beverly Police Department through a grant. It’s unclear whether she had ever had any contact with Lantych.
Sgt. Nagy had been on the Hamilton Police Department for 19 years.
Officer Lantych has been on the Beverly Police Department for 10 years.
Lantych also coaches the Beverly High School varsity boys hockey team. On Saturday, a message appeared on the team’s website.
“Fans and players of Beverly Hockey, keep Coach (Officer) Jay Lantych of the boys team in your thoughts as he recovers from serious gun injuries suffered Friday night. Our hope is that he recovers quickly,” it read.
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