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Military veteran killed in Lynn after police shoot him in altercation

LYNN — Police fatally shot a military veteran at an apartment complex Thursday after the man reached for an officer’s gun during a struggle, according to officials and neighbors.

The Essex district attorney’s office identified the man as Denis Reynoso, 30, of Lynn. Family members of the man could not be reached for comment following the shooting.

Lynn Police Lieutenant Richard Donnelly said officers were called to 115 O’Callaghan Way in the King’s Lynne apartment complex, about 11:10 a.m. for a disturbance and were told that a man was screaming outside. They were then directed to Newcastle Street, which is also in the development.


Officers tried to speak to Reynoso there, but he grabbed for one of their guns and “shots were fired,” Donnelly said.

He said police began first aid and called for an ambulance. Reynoso was taken to Union Hospital in Lynn, where he was later pronounced dead. Donnelly said he did not know what wounds Reynoso had suffered.

It was not clear what touched off the initial disturbance that prompted the police response.

“The Essex District Attorney’s Office will conduct an investigation of the use of fatal force as is protocol,” said a statement from District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office. “Findings of that investigation will be released to the public upon its completion.”

The two-story, brick apartment where the shooting occurred remained sealed off with police tape Thursday afternoon, along with the adjoining units on either side. State and Lynn police were posted outside the property.

Neighbors said that Reynoso served in both the Army and the National Guard and had at least one tour in the Middle East.

The veterans’ agent in Lynn and military officials did not return messages seeking comment.

Reynoso lived in the apartment with a woman named Jessica and their two sons, and he was often seen tossing a baseball with them outside, neighbors said. Neighbors were not certain if they were married.


Wayne Spates, 60, said the couple were “always nice, always out there talking to anybody.” He said he saw Reynoso being placed in an ambulance after the shooting, which drew more than a dozen police vehicles to the scene.

“He didn’t look good when they were taking him out of here,” Spates said.

He said he sometimes saw Reynoso coming home from National Guard duty in “full gear, full pack.”

“It’s a shame,” Spates said. “Really nice people, nice guy.”

Another neighbor, Margaret Laube, 48, said nothing seemed amiss when she saw Jessica a couple of days ago.

She said she saw her exiting her car with one of the boys “like everything was normal.” Neighbors said the couple had lived in King’s Lynne for several years.

The shooting on Thursday came about 13 months after police in Lynn fatally shot a 23-year-old man who they said rammed a cruiser with his car. Blodgett’s office found that officers’ actions were justified in that case.

The police action on Thursday also occurred two weeks after a 37-year-old Danvers man was fatally shot by officers after he allegedly lunged toward State and Danvers police with a knife.

Brian MacQuarrie of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Melissa Hanson contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at