, Salem, MA

Local News

September 14, 2013

DA: Shooting death by officers was 'justifiable'


It was with those allegations and Kehoe’s history in mind that officers assembled outside the Kirkbride Drive apartment. Ellenton was called in with his police dog, Falco, to help search for Kehoe, who, police were told, had fled into a wooded area.

During the search, they got a call from a witness who had just spoken with Kehoe on the phone and said he was back in his apartment. The witness also told police that Kehoe had indicated he wanted to commit “suicide by cop,” and said Kehoe asked him for a “pocket knife.”

According to separate reports obtained by The Salem News under a public records request, Kehoe also was quoted by the witness as saying he wanted to go “out with a bang.”

The information was relayed to officers at the scene.

Police asked for a Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) “STOP” team (a group of officers trained to deal with crisis situations) to be sent to the scene, but the team did not arrive in time. They also requested aid from the state police.

After learning that Kehoe was in his apartment, Ellenton and Wood went to the rear of the first-floor unit and saw him through the blinds.

Just after midnight, state police Sgt. Eric Bernstein and Trooper Dale Jenkins arrived.

Then, an officer saw Kehoe running from the building holding what looked like a knife.

“Kehoe ran directly at Trooper Jenkins,” the report says. “Trooper Jenkins attempted to tackle Kehoe but when he saw something in Kehoe’s hand, he pushed Kehoe against a car.”

Jenkins received a 10-inch superficial cut to his right bicep, the report said.

Ellenton said in his report that Kehoe, yelling, kept running at officers, who had to duck out of the way. He then ran between parked cars and to a grassy area near the parking lot, stopped, turned and faced the officers who were pursuing him on foot.

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