Man dies after police-involved shooting in Danvers

Posted: 08/23/13 at 5:10 am EDT      Last Updated: 08/23/13 at 4:49 pm EDT

DANVERS, Mass. (WHDH) -- A robbery suspect was shot and killed by Danvers police after officers said he lunged at them with a knife, according to the Essex County District Attorney.

The district attorney’s office said the suspect, a 37-year-old man from Danvers, has a history with police. Earlier this year he was arrested and charged with kidnapping and home invasion.

The suspect was shot and killed at the Avalon Apartments in Danvers. The incident woke neighbors.

“I heard one initial shot, and then three shots and maybe about five more after that. All within a five- or six-second span. It was pretty rapid, but in an inconsistent series,” said Grant Stoffel, who heard the gunshots.

Officers responded to the complex after reports of an assault around 10 p.m. Thursday night.

“Pretty much all I heard prior to that was talking or yelling. It was far away, so I couldn’t decipher whether it was speaking or yelling, but we heard voices for quite some time before the shots,” said Stoffel.

Minutes later, police said a tenant lunged at police with a knife, trying to stab them repeatedly.

“They were looking to take a suspect into custody and at that time it was a police shooting,” said an official.

Officers opened fire. The suspect was pronounced dead at a Beverly hospital.

“It was anything but normal. It was certainly pretty nerve-racking after hearing those shots and we wanted to tell ourselves it was just fireworks, but I think my wife and I knew for sure it wasn’t. It was certainly gunshots,” said Stoffel.

The district attorney’s office said the suspect lived at the apartment complex. Police were serving a handful of warrants, but they won’t say who first called police for help. They will not comment on the full extent of the alleged assault that led to the deadly shooting.

No officers were injured. The district attorney’s office promises a full investigation into the shooting.

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