Local Crime, News, Police/Fire

Probe: 2016 shooting death of Robert Dapkus by police was not a criminal act

LYNN — An investigation into the shooting death of Robert Dapkus by police in 2016 revealed the shooting does not constitute a criminal act.

According to a report by the Essex County District Attorney’s office, “it is determined that when the officers fired their weapons, a reasonable law enforcement officer in the same position would reasonably believe that he/she and/or his fellow officers, were in imminent danger of being seriously injured or killed.”

The investigation of the October 3, 2016 shooting concluded Friday.

Lynn Police were attempting to execute a search warrant at 300 Lynn Shore Drive, Apt. 511, where 57-year-old Dapkus resided, when the shooting occurred.

Authorities said Dapkus was a suspect in an armed robbery at the Porthole Pub on Sept. 26.

When attempting to serve the warrant, Lynn Police Lt. Christopher Kelly; detectives Timothy Ferraro, Michael DiMeglio, and Paul Galatis; and officers Joshua Hilton, Thomas Morley, and Nhen Tran announced themselves at 511’s door.

A woman inside the apartment with Dapkus told police the man pointed a gun at the door, leading her to flee to her bedroom, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

The woman and police said the suspect told officers they were not going to “take” him. Officers forced their way into the apartment using a ram and saw Dapkus pointing a gun at the door, and announced “gun,” according to the DA’s office.

Officers moved back and, according to the DA’s statement, Dapkus exited the apartment into the hallway while pointing a gun at officers. Three officers then fired at Dapkus.

Police then called for emergency medical personnel, who pronounced Dapkus dead. The autopsy determined the cause of death to be a gunshot wound to the head. He had also been shot in his leg.

“The investigation found that Mr. Dapkus exited his apartment armed with a gun in response to police attempting to execute a search warrant in furtherance of investigation into an armed robbery,” said Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett in a statement.

“Not only did Mr. Dupkas fail to comply with officers’ repeated orders to drop his weapon but he also pointed the weapon at officers. When officers DiMeglio, Ferraro and Hilton fired their weapons, they reasonably believed that they, their fellow officers and the public were in imminent danger of being seriously injured or killed by Mr. Dapkus and, therefore, the shooting of Dapkus does not constitute a criminal act.”

The matter is now referred to the Lynn Police Department for whatever internal review is deemed appropriate.

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