LYNN -- A man is dead after he allegedly attacked a Lynn police officer, seized his service weapon, and was shot in the ensuing struggle, prosecutors said today.
"A male individual approached the officer and without provocation attacked the officer,'' according to a statement released this afternoon by Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office. "During the attack, the male suspect got hold of the officer’s service weapon and used it to shoot himself fatally.''
Prosecutors said the man's identity is being withheld, pending notification of next of kin. The incident took place around 9:54 a.m.
The shooting happened outside the doors of Lynn City Hall, while the officer was working a paid detail for a Verizon work crew in the area, police said.
Rosa Feliz, 31, of Salem, works in a travel agency with her sister, Yulys. The two saw the shooting from about 10 feet away.
“The guy attacked the policeman. The policeman was on the ground, and he was beating the policeman,” Rosa Feliz said. “I don’t know from where he was coming from, but the guy was going crazy. He was like nuts.”
Rosa said a Verizon worker pulled the man away, but the suspect had gotten hold of the officer’s gun and fired two shots. She said the officer rushed the man, grabbed the gun, which was now pointed at him, and turned it toward the suspect.
“He was trying to kill the policeman, and he forced his hand out,” Rosa said. “The last shot went into his head.”
The officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries, prosecutors said. The officer, who was not identified, was placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by prosecutors and State Police.
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