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Chief Sheehan: Detectives Involved In Fatal Shooting Showed 'Courage' And 'Professionalism'

Apr 04, 2015 12:08PM ● By Bill Gilman

Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy Sheehan

Police Chief Timothy Sheehan is speaking publicly for the first time since two of his detectives shot and killed a stabbing suspect in the middle of a Tewksbury street in February.
Sheehan praised the officers, whose names have not been released, for their "great courage and professionalism in the face of grave danger" in the events resulting in the death of 30-year-old Douglas Sparks of Medford.
Sparks was shot and killed after refusing to comply with the command of officers to drop a gun he was holding. According to investigators, Sparks had slashed two people, including his ex-girlfriend, during a confrontation in the parking lot of the Salter Business School on Woburn Street, the morning of Feb. 17.
Responding officers located Sparks on Forest Street, where he displayed what appered to be a handgun. The weapon turned out to be a realistic looking BB gun but did not have the tell-tale orange tip on the barrel. 
When Sparks ignored repeated demands to drop the gun, the officers opened fire.
"It is a tragedy any time an interaction with law enforcement results in the loss of life and our thoughts are with our involved officers and their families, the victims in this case, and the family of Mr. Sparks," said Chief Sheehan. "These fine young police officers displayed great courage and professionalism in the face of grave danger and that is a testament to their character, their strong desire to keep those they serve safe, and the training they have received."
An investigation into the shooting was conducted by the office of Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan. On Friday, Ryan released the results of the investigation, which concluded the shooting was justified.
"The Tewksbury Police Department is extremely appreciative of the hard work and diligence put into this investigation by the District Attorney’s Office, the State Police, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner," said Chief Sheehan.
The detectives, who had been on paid administrative leave since the shooting, are expected to return to work immediately. 


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