A Massachusetts man who was a “person of interest” in the death of a 23-year-old Massachusetts woman was killed by police Tuesday evening in West Brattleboro, state police say.
The Vermont State Police is continuing its investigation early Wednesday morning into the fatal police shooting of the person of interest in the disappearance and death of a missing Massachusetts woman, 23-year-old Mary Anderson.
Following notification of next of kin, the state police is able to release the preliminary identification of the deceased man: Matthew Davis, 34, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His body will be transported to the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to confirm the cause and manner of his death.
The fatal shooting occurred in a wooded area between Bonnyvale Road and South Street southwest of Western Avenue in West Brattleboro. A detective with the Vermont State Police was conducting a neighborhood canvass when he recognized a person who fit Davis’s description walking on Western Avenue. Members of the Vermont State Police and Brattleboro Police Department rapidly responded to the area and were on scene at the time of the fatal police shooting. Two troopers and a Brattleboro police officer fired their weapons in the course of the encounter with Davis, who was armed with a knife. Two detectives with the Massachusetts State Police also were in the area. Police rendered first aid to Davis following the shooting and called for EMS personnel to respond, but he was pronounced dead on the scene. The knife was located near Davis’s body. No other injuries were reported.
David was being sought by the authorities as part of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance and death of 23-year-old Mary Anderson of Harvard, Massachusetts. Anderson, whose body was found early Tuesday morning inside her pickup truck parked on Elliot Street in Brattleboro, had been missing since the weekend. She was last seen at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday in Hudson, New Hampshire.
Per standard protocol related to shootings involving members of the Vermont State Police, the circumstances of the shooting of Davis are under active investigation by detectives with VSP’s Criminal Division who are assigned to offices from elsewhere in the state to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Investigators remain at the scene early this morning, and their work is active and ongoing. Further details will be released as the case continues.
In accordance with regular procedures, the identities of the officers who fired their weapons will be released a day after the shooting. The state troopers will be placed on paid administrative leave for a minimum of five days. When the Vermont State Police investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the relevant State’s Attorney’s Office for independent reviews of the police use of deadly force.