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Beverly officer shot by Hamilton sergeant 'appears to be doing ok,' says department

Posted by Bob Scherer-Hoock  February 26, 2012 05:13 PM

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By Kathy McCabe, Travis Andersen and Matt Byrne, Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent

BEVERLY -- Beverly Police Officer Jason Lantych, shot and seriously injured Friday by a Hamilton police sergeant who later took his own life, is recovering at a local hospital, his department said today.

“Friends and family have been able to speak to Officer Lantych and he appears to be doing OK,” the Beverly Police Department wrote on its official Facebook page. “He still has a long way to go. Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep it up, it is greatly appreciated.”

Lantych, 35, is being treated at Beverly Hospital.

Meanwhile, Hamilton police are mourning the death of their colleague, Sergeant Ken Nagy, 44, who arrived at a Starbucks coffee shop on Enon Street late Friday afternoon for a pre-arranged meeting with Lantych and then shot him in the leg and wrist outside the shop, according to Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. Nagy returned to the parking lot there about 10:30 p.m. and shot himself, according to Blodgett.

Black bunting hung over the Hamilton police station door today, and officers covered their badges with mourning bands. Flowers and cards from well-wishers have been trickling in, Sergeant Steve Trepanier said.

“Its still fresh,” he said. “It takes some time. We’re all still trying to figure things out.”

Trepanier said he has had no word on funeral arrangements.

No one answered the door at the Nagy residence in an upscale subdivision in Rowley today and the inside lights were off.

A neighbor, Mark Cirino, 33, said he had lived next to the couple for seven years and would see them from time to time.

“There was nothing to indicate that something like that could have happened,” said Cirino.

Authorities are still trying to determine whether Nagy used his service weapon to shoot Lantych before shooting himself in the head hours later, according to Blodgett’s spokeswoman, Carrie Kimball-Monahan.

“Ballistics tests are being done and we have to verify it against Nagy’s service weapon,” she wrote today in an email. “This is going to take a little while, but we are working on it.”

Blodgett’s office has released few details about the shooting of Lantych, except to say that the men knew each other and had agreed to meet there.

The district attorney’s office also said that Nagy’s wife, Katie, works as an advocate for domestic violence victims under a grant to the Beverly Police Department.

Kimball-Monahan said today that she could not release further information about the purpose of the meeting or a motive for the attack, nor could she provide an update on Lantych’s medical condition.

His family has not given permission to the hospital to release information on his condition, Kimball-Monahan said.

John Sholomith, 21, of Boxford, who said he is a premed student at Harvard Extension School, was one of the citizens lauded by law enforcement officials Saturday for helping to save Lantych’s life.

Sholomith was seated at the back of Starbucks Friday afternoon, listening to the Rolling Stones on headphones and studying for a neuropsychology exam, when he noticed commotion.

“People were running in all directions, jumping out of their chairs,” Sholomith recalled today. “I took a quick sprint to the door, and saw that a man had collapsed outside. I noticed he was drenched in a growing quantity of blood and heard he had been shot.”

Sholomith, who said he is trained as an emergency responder, said he went outside to assist a nurse who was trying to stabilize Lantych. He was applying pressure to a wound on Lantych’s upper right thigh, when a woman arrived identifying herself as Lantych’s mother, he said.

“She was hysterical, frantic. She was saying, ‘Is that my son? Is that my son?’” Sholomith recalled. “Someone asked her ‘Who are you?’ She was screaming and crying, ‘I’m his mother, I’m his mother.’ ”

Sholomith said he and others tried to calm her down. “I told her I thought he had stopped bleeding enough that he would be OK,” he said. “She said, ‘OK, OK, thank you.’ She was very distraught. When they [EMTs] were about to put him on the stretcher, she said, ‘I’m his mother. I need to go with him.’”

An aspiring surgeon, Sholomith said he was glad he was in a position to help.

“I am actually very humbled to be able to take care of a gentleman of the law,” he said. “I helped a cop. That’s fantastic.”

Kathy McCabe can be reached at kmccabe@globe.com. Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Matt Byrne can be reached at mbyrne.globe@gmail.com@globe.com.

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