A knife-wielding man was shot and killed by police Saturday afternoon outside a residential home in Lexington, Massachusetts, the Middlesex District Attorney said at an evening press conference.
Ryan was joined by several other officials, including Lexington Police Chief Michael McLean, as she announced that police had fatally shot the 35-year-old man earlier in the day at the Hancock Rotary, at the intersection of North Hancock and Hancock streets in Lexington.
According to Ryan, Lexington police received a 911 call shortly after 12:30 p.m. from a man who said he was passing by a home in the area while out for a jog when he saw another man at the window of the home asking for someone to call 911 because someone was trying to kill him.
When officers responded to the house where a man had been seen asking for help, officers encountered the 35-year-old man outside with a raised knife, Ryan said.
According to Ryan, the man refused multiple commands from police to drop the knife he was holding and reportedly continued to engage and advance on the officers moving about the property and into the street while still holding the knife.
Ryan said the officers on scene attempted to stop the man multiple times, including when one officer fired multiple non-lethal beanbag rounds. Although that caused the man to fall down, Ryan said he continued to get back up.
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Ryan described the incident as an ongoing discussion in which officers were essentially begging the man to drop his knife, but he continued to advance toward police and moved out into the rotary area.
At one point after the man got back on his feet, one of the Lexington police officers fell to the ground for reasons not known at this time. According to witnesses, Ryan said, the man with the knife advanced on that officer while he was down. At that time, another Lexington police officer fired his service weapon, striking the man. The man was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
It was not immediately known how many times the man was shot; Ryan said that is part of the investigation.
Ryan said several officers were taken to a local hospital, but she did provide any information on possible injuries.
A resident who has lived in the neighborhood for 22 years told NBC10 Boston that he heard 7-10 shots near Burlington Street.
“I couldn’t see what was going on. I just knew that there were police here and I just heard someone yelling, 'drop it, drop it,' several times and then another person was just kind of screaming and then I heard the shots,” Chris Wood said.
“I could only imagine someone was in a lot of distress and when I heard the shots, I was pretty scared so I just went inside,” Wood added.
"When I heard the shots I was pretty scared so I just went inside,” another man shared.
“I’ve never heard of the police responding with violence in any situation in Lexington before,” one woman said.
A local rabbi told NBC10 Boston that services had just ended when he walked out and saw police trying to deescalate a tense situation with a man holding a knife.
"There was a man standing... with kind of a bloodied shirt, brandishing a knife,” Rabbi Yisorel New said of what he saw and heard. "'Brandon we want to help you. We want to call an ambulance. We want to get you to your family.'”
According to Ryan, the man who was fatally shot lived inside the home with two other residents, including the man who was pleading for help from the jogger. The home is a facility run by Eliot Community Services, where visiting nurses come and go throughout the day to attend to the residents' medical needs. The home provides rehab services for mental health patients and those recovering from substance abuse.
The rabbi's father lives just across the street from the home and said, "I feel sad. These are people that need help. They’re lonely souls in a big world, and I don’t see family. They’re really individuals living on their own in a very sad way.”
Hancock Rotary and surrounding roads were closed Saturday, Lexington police said on Twitter. Drivers were being told to seek alternate routes and remain away from the area.
Lexington police assured the public that there was no threat to the community or residents in the area of the investigation.
Ryan said anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Lexington police. She noted that it was a very nice day out on Saturday and people were outside enjoying the mild temperatures, and there were also events happening at a nearby school, so anybody who may have been in the area and seen something should contact officials.
Ryan said it's still very early in the investigation and there is a lot being looked into, including how the officer fell down, and how many shots were fired at the man. This is a very active and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Lexington police and Massachusetts State Police detectives.