Lexington police shoot, kill man armed with knife Saturday, according to DA


Lexington police who arrived at the scene found the 35-year-old resident in the facility’s driveway brandishing a knife, Ryan said.

Officers repeatedly spoke to the man and asked him to drop the weapon and remain where he was, Ryan said. But, he advanced on police despite orders to stop, she said.

“There was an ongoing discussion between the officers [and the man], essentially begging that the knife be dropped,” Ryan said.

Police tried to keep distance between themselves and the man while telling him to let go of the knife but he declined to do that, Ryan said, and walked into the nearby rotary.

During the encounter, which Ryan said lasted “a number of minutes,” police fired bean bag projectiles at the man, who was knocked to the ground a few times, but kept getting back up.

At one point, a Lexington officer fell to the ground.

“When the man with the knife advanced on that officer who had fallen, another Lexington officer fired his service weapon, striking the man,” Ryan said. “That individual was transported to an area hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.”

Several officers were also transported to an area hospital, though Ryan did not say why or give details on their conditions.

She said investigators still have to determine how many shots were fired and what caused the officer to fall to the ground.

The Hancock Street facility, which is owned and operated by Eliot Community Human Services of Lexington, houses three residents inside a Colonial-style home. Nurses and other Eliot staff visit the facility to care for the residents, Ryan said.

The Eliot organization did not respond to messages left with representatives who answered the phone at two numbers listed for it Saturday afternoon.

The shooting scene is in the midst of a quiet residential neighborhood of single-family homes north of Lexington’s town center, and a short distance from the William Diamond Middle School.

Throughout the afternoon, the rotary at Hancock and Burlington streets was closed off with yellow police tape. More than a dozen neon-green evidence markers were placed on the road and sidewalk where the rotary exits onto Burlington Street.

The confrontation between the man and police broke out near the Beth Chaim Meir Chabad Center of Lexington, a Jewish school and synagogue. Rabbi Yisroel New, the center’s associate director, said services had just ended at the synagogue. He said he was walking outside with some congregants when they heard shouting from the street and went to see what was happening.

“There was a man standing with kind of a bloodied shirt and brandishing a knife,” New said Saturday evening.

New said police officers pleaded with the man to put the down the knife.

“They said … ‘We want to help you, we want to call an ambulance, we want to get you to your family,’” New said.

New said the man was holding the knife up near his head and eventually charged at the police.

“Your heart goes out to the police officers, because you could see it on their faces,” New said. “They didn’t want to be in the situation and they were following their training. Obviously they were doing the correct thing but it was a regrettable situation that kind of looked like it was going to happen, because he wasn’t dropping his weapon and he wasn’t responding properly.”

During the press conference, Ryan asked for the public’s help in the investigation, and said anyone who witnessed the shooting should contact Lexington police.

Joanne Rathe of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico. John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.

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