THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Man, 66, shot dead in Lynn apartment

By Jack Nicas
Globe Correspondent / December 25, 2009

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LYNN - A man was shot to death in his Lynn apartment just before noon yesterday, according to Essex County prosecutors.

Police found Bennett Halprin, 66, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in his second-floor apartment at 23 Atlantic St. Halprin, an MBTA bus driver for the past 13 years, died about 30 minutes later at North Shore Medical Center’s Union Hospital in Lynn, the Essex district attorney’s office said.

Neighbors gathered outside on a chilly Christmas Eve afternoon as State and Lynn police snapped photos, shot video, and led dogs around the property on the corner of Baltimore Street.

Bob Bergeron, 46, lives across the street from the shooting and said he used to work with the victim’s wife.

“He was a nice guy, just a very jolly, happy guy,’’ Bergeron said of Halprin.

Mack Peters, 65, said he was a family friend and had walked to the house yesterday because Halprin was not answering his phone.

“I called his house a few minutes ago because I’m having some people over,’’ Peters said. “He was a good man . . . It’s a horrible, horrible thing to happen on Christmas Eve.’’

Peters said Halprin was shot through the front door of his apartment, but police would not confirm that. Police would not release details yesterday on the shooting.

Shawn King, 39, who lives around the corner, said police confiscated video footage from one of his surveillance cameras pointed toward Baltimore Street. He said two people could be seen running down the street at about the time of the shooting.

Aaron Rial, 27, who has a home below Halprin, said the victim lives with his wife and an adult son. The son was at home at the time, but it is not known whether the wife was.

“There’s a lot of activity there all the time,’’ Rial said. He was planning to spend Christmas in his apartment but was now worried. “I don’t what I’m going to do now.’’

Paul Perakis, 51, who lives across the street from the shooting, said he was not surprised the white house with blue shutters was the sight of a shooting.

“There’s a lot of cars and a lot of traffic coming in and out of that house,’’ he said. “I’m in fear for my life right now. I’m going to move out.’’