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Burlington police shoot man who allegedly charged at officers with knife

BURLINGTON — An officer shot a man who allegedly charged at police with a knife outside Lord Baron Apartments about noon on Sunday, leaving him with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

The man, whose identity was not released, was described as being in his 40s and was taken to a local hospital, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said at a news conference outside the apartment complex off the Middlesex Turnpike Extension, about a mile from the Burlington Mall.

Two officers were taken to the hospital, one with a minor head injury, and were later released, Ryan said.

The man, who has been living in the apartment complex since July, called 911 at 12:08 p.m. and told a dispatcher he was “having some mental health issues, was upset and had a knife,” Ryan said.

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Two officers were sent to the apartment building and were told to wait outside, she said.

“The supervisor who was in the station hearing that call, and understanding that there were mental health issues that wanted to be addressed, told the responding officers not to enter the building, to wait outside until they could get the ambulance,” paramedics, and the fire department there, Ryan said.

As they waited, the man, who was still on the phone with 911, came out of the building with a knife in hand, “advancing rapidly towards the officers,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the officers repeatedly told the man to put the knife down and one fired a “less than lethal weapon” but it did not stop the man from moving closer to them. At this point, the other officer shot the man, she said.

The projectile that one of the officers fired on the man was described by Ryan as a “small, rounded object” like a racquetball.

The man received medical aid at the scene before he was taken to the hospital, Ryan said.

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Ryan said audio of the confrontation was captured by the 911 dispatcher and is part of the ongoing investigation into the shooting.

The man was not previously known to Burlington police, Ryan said. She said no one else was in the man’s apartment during the incident.

The three-story apartment building is one of several on Baron Park Lane, which runs between the Middlesex Turnpike Extension and Terrace Hall Avenue in Burlington.

Burlington police maintained a heavy presence in the neighborhood following the shooting, with both ends of the street closed and a section cordoned off with police tape. Yellow evidence markers could be seen on the ground near one of the buildings.

Some witnesses said they heard three gunshots ring out Saturday afternoon. A neighbor, Beggy Cessant, said he heard them while inside his apartment with his young child.

“I didn’t look outside the window to see what happened,” he said. “I just took care of my baby because I was scared.”

Globe correspondent Adam Sennott contributed to this report.


Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.