, Newburyport, MA


June 11, 2014

Officers involved in fatal shooting back at work

SALISBURY — With the return of Salisbury police veteran Michael Alder on Monday, the last of three officers involved in last month’s fatal shooting on Cable Avenue has resumed duty.

Immediately following the May 15 incident, which saw police shoot dead 29-year-old Nicholas Foster moments after he charged police with a machete, Alder, Sgt. Robert Roy and Chief Thomas Fowler were placed on paid administrative leave. Officers are placed on administrative leave whenever a gun is fired on duty; an investigation is conducted and officers must be cleared by a doctor before they return.

After stabbing two victims, Foster then left the house and tried leaving the scene in a maroon Toyota. When confronted by an approaching police cruiser, Foster rammed his car into Alder’s vehicle. He then got out of the Toyota, armed with a machete and a smaller knife, and approached police. When he refused their demands that he drop the weapons and began running toward police, officers fired at him, killing him instantly, according to authorities.

Fowler returned to duty last week while Roy was back in time for Sunday’s traffic headaches precipitated by thousands of people heading to the town’s beaches.

“It’s nice to have them back,” Fowler said, adding that having two experienced officers back in time for the summer season means a great deal.

Yesterday, Essex County District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie-Kimball Monahan said the investigation remains ongoing and offered no definitive word when it will be complete.

“As soon as it’s complete, we will make the findings known to the public,” Kimball-Monahan said.

When asked how her office would release its findings, Kimball-Monahan said various news outlets would be issued a press release and the information would also be placed on its Facebook page.

At Monday’s Salisbury Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Fowler told selectmen that the district attorney’s findings were still several weeks away. As part of his appearance at the selectmen’s meeting, Fowler told the board that all his officers had returned to active duty.

The shooting took place on Peace Officers Memorial Day and only hours after the police department held a ceremony on Broadway to mark the occasion. Part of Police Week, Peace Officers Memorial day pays tribute to law enforcement officers across the country who have died in the line of duty.

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