BEVERLY — The Hamilton police sergeant who was suspected of shooting a Beverly officer yesterday killed himself around 10:30 p.m. after returning to the scene of the shooting, authorities said.
Beverly police officer Jason Lantych came out of a long surgery and was described as "touch and go" by District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett as of deadline last night.
After an hours-long search that stretched from Beverly to Rowley, Hamilton police Sgt. Kenneth Nagy, of 36 Spencer Knowles Road in Rowley, was located dead in his vehicle of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"It's just a terrible end to a very difficult and tragic day," Blodgett said.
The original incident was called in from the Starbucks on Enon Street at 5:48 p.m., Blodgett said.
Police had requested the public's help in locating Nagy, who was thought to be driving a black 2008 Saab SUV. State police K-9 units were searching in Rowley at 9 p.m.
That SUV pulled into the parking lot on Enon Street after 10 p.m. and was noticed immediately by police, who knew the make of the car and "secured the scene immediately before approaching the vehicle," Blodgett said. Shortly thereafter, Nagy shot himself.
Blodgett said the two police officers knew each other but would not speculate about a possible motive.
At the scene of the original shooting outside Starbucks, it was apparent that the victim lost a substantial amount of blood. Witnesses said he was conscious and responsive, at least initially, and was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
Blodgett confirmed that two shots were fired on scene. He added that the situation was under investigation by authorities.
"I was sitting inside by the fireplace. I heard a loud bang, and I heard someone screaming," said Matthew Miller, who said he was in the Starbucks at the time. "I came outside, and the gentleman was coming up the stairs saying that someone shot him."
It was unclear if the shooting happened in the Eastern Bank, which is in the same complex as the Starbucks, or near its entrance. Bank employees who exited the building after the shooting did not comment.
A trail of blood on the cement, which originated in front of Eastern Bank, led to the Starbucks, where Lantych collapsed just outside of the cafe's entrance. The pools of blood were sizable.
"(It must) have hit somewhere close to an artery," Miller said.
Miller said Lantych, after shouting, was delirious before collapsing on the ground as Miller tried to help him.
Miller said Lantych claimed to know the name of the man who shot him.
A Starbucks employee and another witness, both wearing heavily bloodstained dish gloves they said they put on before helping the victim, tried to stop the profuse bleeding from Lantych's right leg. Miller said he only saw one wound.
When police first arrived to help Lantych, a woman, who looked to be in her mid-50s, was frantic.
"I need to go with him," she repeated near the rear of the ambulance as the man was wheeled on a stretcher — a towel on his right leg to stem the bleeding — to the back of the emergency vehicle.
Miller said the woman claimed to be the victim's mother.