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Revere officer dies after shooting

He was member of antigang unit

REVERE - An officer in the Revere Police Department's gang unit died last night, hours after he was shot in the head early yesterday in an outburst of violence that sent dozens of law enforcement agents throughout the city knocking on doors and questioning residents as they searched for suspects.

Officer Daniel Talbot, 30, had been in grave condition much of yesterday at Massachusetts General Hospital after being shot about 1:30 in the corner of the Revere High School parking lot near the bleachers by the school's baseball diamond, according to police officials and area residents. He died shortly before 10 p.m., according to Revere police Lieutenant John Goodwin.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley offered no explanation on how or why Talbot suffered the single gunshot wound to the head.

Speaking during a press conference yesterday afternoon, Conley said police had no suspects in custody but were looking into several leads. He said he would not rule out gang activity.

Revere Police Chief Terence K. Reardon would not comment on whether other officers were injured in the shooting. But Conley said State Police units that investigate officer-involved shootings were assisting yesterday.

The district attorney said that others were present at the scene and that some had been interviewed, but he would not comment on their identity or their relationship to Talbot.

"We know who Officer Talbot was with," Conley said. "We've interviewed them, and more interviews need to take place tonight."

Conley would not say whether Talbot was on duty at the time or why he was at the high school parking lot at that hour.

"Because of the very sensitive nature of this investigation and because it remains very active, we cannot discuss the details and findings we have reached at this point," he said. "At this stage, it's necessary for me to withhold much of what we have learned up to this point to maintain the integrity of this investigation."

Mayor Thomas G. Ambrosino, who visited the officer and his family at the hospital, said by phone that "our hearts go out to the family of Officer Talbot."

"The city will cooperate in any way we can to work with law enforcement to track down the perpetrators," Ambrosino said.

Talbot joined the 95-member Police Department about five years ago, the mayor said.

About four months ago, Talbot moved into a two-bedroom condominium in Salem that he purchased with his fiancée, said his next-door neighbor, Nela Gorodefskiy.

"It's just terrible," she said. "He was very friendly, very open."

Gorodefskiy said she learned about the shooting from one of his co-workers who came to his home yesterday. "I cried," she said. "He was crying, too."

The last fatality in the Revere Police Department was in September 1973, when Officer Joseph Moretti was shot while trying to stop an armed robbery.

As State Police helicopters flew overhead, dozens of state and local law enforcement officers scoured the city yesterday, focusing at one point in midday on a red, three-decker house on Thornton Street, in a working-class neighborhood of predominantly Cambodian and Brazilian residents.

Officers closed off the street as they entered homes, taking some residents to police headquarters for further questioning.

Less than a mile away, near the scene of the shooting, yellow police tape surrounded the high school parking lot as detectives spoke with neighbors and looked for evidence.

Revere has had several recent violent gang-related episodes, and last month was one of the communities federal immigration officials targeted in a three-day sweep for alleged members or associates of the MS-13 street gang.

City officials say Revere has changed dramatically in the past decade and has sought to reduce crime despite fewer police and an influx of new residents.

"He was a good police officer," said John Powers, president of the Revere City Council. "He was a cop's cop, somebody always on the job. Hopefully, whoever is responsible will be apprehended."

Megan Woolhouse of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.

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