MALDEN (CBS) – Brian Butler, the man suspected of murdering Erin Fitzgibbon, was taken into custody at an Ashland home.
Police had asked the public to help locate Butler following the Tuesday murder on Fairmount Street.READ MORE: Volunteers Gather To Clean Up Trash In Boston's Muddy River
A resident’s video footage served as a “crucial piece of the puzzle” that led to Butler’s arrest.
Neighbors say it was a show of force. “I came out and saw 15 SWAT guys lined up to go in the house,” said an Ashland neighbor.
Police say Butler was driven there by an accomplice who allegedly helped him flee the Malden home where he’s accused of shooting and killing 30-year-old Erin Fitzgibbon in an armed home invasion.
Investigators said Butler is known to the residents of the Fairmont Street home and showed up early Tuesday morning waving a gun and threatening them – even firing a couple of shots after breaking through a rear door. Investigators said Fitzgibbon was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“John, the homeowner, decides he doesn’t have a weapon and yells for everyone to leave, everyone get out of the house,” said Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Dunigan.
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Police say the husband, wife and their adult son made a run for it out the front door, but Fitzgibbon was still in an upstairs bedroom staying with the family as a houseguest. They say Butler entered the room, shot her in the head, and made off with a safe containing heroin and pills, through prosecutors say he also expected the safe had some cash.
“They see the defendant come down the back stairs, they see him running down the driveway toward a waiting car,” said Dunigan.
According to police, the alleged getaway driver, 24-year-old Cody DiGaetano, said Butler had told him to drive to his drug dealer’s house and later admitted he shot someone in the head while inside and would shoot him if he snitched, which police say is what he did. Prosecutors say media attention about the brazen case and the wanted poster of Butler with distinctive tattoos also helped lead to an arrest.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Butler left the murder scene in DiGaetano’s green Honda. They drove to Ashland, where Butler stayed overnight.
Police found the Honda in Chelsea Tuesday night and later found Butler.
“We are not only relieved that the suspect of this heinous crime has been apprehended but we are also grateful to Chief Molis and everyone in our Police Department for their hard work in solving this crime,” the City of Malden said in a statement. “Although the apprehension cannot make up for the loss of life, we hope it will help the family of Erin Fitzgibbon knowing that our Police Department would not stop until justice was served.”MORE NEWS: Large Search Underway Near Newburyport Boat Club For Missing Man Kevin Mahoney
Butler is now being held without bail, while DiGaetano who is charged as an accomplice was released on personal recognizance.