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Tewksbury Police Detectives Awarded Medals of Valor

Nov 13, 2015 08:15AM ● By Bill Gilman

Tewksbury Detectives Mike McLaughlin and Ed Jackman were recently awarded Medals of Valor by the Massachusetts Police Association.

Det. Ed Jackman and Det. Mike McLaughlin of the Tewksbury Police Department recently received Medals of Valor from the Massachusetts Police Association for their handling of a lethal force situation in February.
The incident began the morning of Feb. 17, when Tewksbury Police received multiple 911 calls reporting two people having been stabbed in the parking lot of the Salter School. The suspect, later identified as Donald Sparks, fled the scene of the attack and  Jackman and McLaughlin located him on Forest Avenue.  When the detectives approached the suspect, they saw Sparks holding a gun.  Sparks refused to comply with repeated orders to drop the gun and shots were fired by the detectives, striking Sparks. The suspect was transported to Lowell General Hospital Saints Campus where he was pronounced dead. 
An investigation revealed that the weapon being held by Sparks was not an actual gun but a replica. However, the orange cap normally on the tip of such replicas to identify them as toys had been removed, making it appear to be authentic.
The two victims in the stabbing, identified as Sparks' ex-girlfriend and a friend of hers, recovered from their injuries.
In a statement, Police Chief Timothy Sheehan lauded the actions of Detectives McLaughlin and Jackman.
"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."


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