Hamilton Police Sgt. Kenneth Nagy and Beverly Police Officer Jason Lantych arranged to meet at the Starbucks in North Beverly Friday night before Nagy allegedly shot Lantych in the leg and wrist, seriously injuring him.
That’s according to a Saturday afternoon announcement by Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett into of the 5:48 p.m. shooting.
“Information as to the nature or purpose of the meeting has not been confirmed,” Blodgett said in a statement released at about 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Nagy, who fled the scene after the shooting, returned to the rear parking lot behind the Starbucks about five hours after the shooting and . An autopsy conducted on Saturday morning determined it was a suicide, Blodgett said.
On Friday night, Blodgett said that Nagy and Lantych knew each other. Some witnesses said that Lantych identified the shooter immediately afterward. On Saturday, in the statement from the DA, Beverly Police Chief Mark Ray said that Katie Nagy, Sgt. Ken Nagy’s wife, worked for HAWC (Healing Abuse, Working for Change) as a domestic violence advocate with the Beverly Police Department.
Nagy, 43, who was a 19-year veteran of the , leaves behind his wife and two young children under the age of 10. He was promoted from patrolman to sergeant last July.
“He was a great police officer, a good investigator and well-liked by the community,” Hamilton Police Chief Russell Stevens said in the DA’s prepared statement. “He will be greatly missed.”
Lantych, 35, is "on the road to recovery," according to a Facebook post on the Beverly Police page on Saturday afternoon.
Lantych, who was formerly the department’s school resource officer, has been on the Beverly Police Department for 10 years.
“He was well liked by the kids as well as the faculty and staff in the schools,” Ray said.
Some students, who heard about the shooting and came by the scene on Friday night, said they knew of Lantych, who they said many students called “Officer Jay.”
Ray credited the action of some witnesses to Friday night’s shooting for quickly rushing to Lantych’s aid.
“Their actions saved Jasonʼs life and they should be commended for their courage and quick thinking,” Ray said.
The case remains under investigation, according to Blodgett’s office, and is being lead by State Police detectives assigned to his office along with assistance of the Beverly and Hamilton police departments.