SALISBURY -- In a dramatic confrontation on a Salisbury Beach street, police shot and killed a machete-wielding man whom a witness described as looking “crazed.”
As police officers continue to piece together yesterday’s horrific stabbing of two people on Cable Avenue and the fatal shooting of the alleged attacker by officers responding to the scene, investigators are looking into what prompted the 29-year-old man to brutally attack his victims.
Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett revealed few details on the attack at a 5 p.m. press conference outside the nearby police station. The two victims, a man and a woman, were transported to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport in “very serious” condition. From Anna Jaques, the male victim was airlifted to a Boston-area hospital.
According to police, at around 12:45 p.m. yesterday, police received a 911 call from 150 Cable Ave regarding an domestic dispute. As officers Michael Alder and Sgt. Robert Roy was heading down Cable Avenue, the 29-year-old man, who has not yet been identified, was heading towards them in a maroon Toyota. He rammed Sgt. Roy’s cruiser.
A nearby neighbor, Fiona McClelland of 117 Cable Ave., said she saw the collision and went outside to help the man whom she thought was the victim of a motor vehicle accident. She ran over and saw him reach behind his seat. Police then ordered her to get away from the car and go back into her home. Inside her house, she watched as the man exited the car, wielding a small knife and a long machete. The man, acting methodically and strangely, then began slowly walking towards Alder and Roy, who drew their weapons and ordered him to drop his weapons.
“He just looked crazed,” McClelland said.
Moments later, police Chief Thomas Fowler arrived at the scene armed with an assault rifle. Again, police ordered the man to halt and disarm himself, said McClelland. But he continued approaching police, she said, prompting police to open fire. The man fell face first on to the ground dead a few houses down from the crash site. McClelland said she didn’t see who fired the fatal shot. She said two contractors working on a residence a few houses down videotaped the incident and heard the suspect ask police to shoot him.