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Police investigate double homicide in Andover

Chief of Police Brian Pattullo, third from left, at the scene where two people were found dead in an Andover home.
Chief of Police Brian Pattullo, third from left, at the scene where two people were found dead in an Andover home.Bill Greene/Globe Staff/Boston Globe

ANDOVER -- Two people were found fatally shot this morning in a million-dollar home on a quiet street in the town of Andover. Police launched a search for a car taken from the home and learned it had been found on fire in Boston’s North End Tuesday night.

A relative who entered the home at 7 Orchard Crossing this morning found the door unlocked and the bodies of John Magee, 69, and his wife, Geraldine, 67. The relative notified police at 9:18 a.m, saying it appeared there had been a shooting, said Andover Police Chief Brian J. Pattullo.

Police responded to this home at 7 Orchard Crossing in Andover where a man and a woman were found fatally shot this morning.
Police responded to this home at 7 Orchard Crossing in Andover where a man and a woman were found fatally shot this morning.Bill Greene/Globe Staff

Pattullo said the case was being investigated as a double homicide. The bodies have been taken to the medical examiner’s office to be autopsied.

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Police said this morning that they were searching for the black 2008 Lexus that belonged to the Magees, which had apparently been taken from the home.

Patullo confirmed late this afternoon that the car had been found on Prince Street in the North End.

A black Lexus was found on fire in the area of 126 Prince St. at about 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, said Steve MacDonald, a Boston Fire Department spokesman. He said it took firefighters about a half-hour to put out the fire. No injuries were reported.

Asked at a news conference if Andover residents needed to be concerned that a random killer was lurking in the area, Pattullo said, “I would say there’s no need for the neighbors to be concerned.”

He said police continued to investigate and officials expected to release no more information on the case today.

The home is just off Route 28, South Main Street. Town assessor records say it’s worth more than $1 million.

By mid-morning, police had shut off the street, which is lined with spacious homes with immaculately landscaped yards, and about a dozen official vehicles could be seen parked in front of the house.

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Neighbor Hamid Qureshi said in a telephone interview he did not hear anything amiss at the home, but saw police vehicles and heard helicopters overhead this morning.

Qureshi said he asked an officer what was going on. The officer said that there was a “situation over here” and wouldn’t say more.

Qureshi said John Magee was “the nicest guy you’ve ever known.”

Qureshi said the couple had a son and daughter, both of whom were away from home, possibly at college.

Chris Doherty, a realtor for Prudential Howe and Doherty Realtors, said Magee had been a builder in Andover.

“One of the first houses that I sold back in 1975 was a house he built,” Doherty said.

He said “Jack” was “a nice man and a gentleman.”

Geraldine Magee did some real estate work, he said, “largely in representing Jack’s new constructions. Gerry was also a very nice woman.”

Another neighbor, who would not give her name, said in a telephone interview, “They were nice people.”

“It’s very sad,” she said.

In a State Police broadcast this morning to local police, State Police said the weapon used in the shooting was believed to be in the vehicle.