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Weymouth woman, 72, found dead after police kill son

Officers shoot man outside house

Weymouth police are investigating the incident, along with the Norfolk District Attorney’s office and State Police.
Weymouth police are investigating the incident, along with the Norfolk District Attorney’s office and State Police.George Rizer for the Globe

WEYMOUTH — A onetime heroin addict with a long rap sheet who had parlayed an early friendship with actor Mark Wahlberg into small acting jobs in Hollywood films was killed early Monday, as he held at least one knife and confronted police outside the home where his mother lay dead.

Patricia Campbell, 72, and Paul Campbell, 49, both lived in the house at 69 Prospect Hill Drive, where police received a 911 call just after 1 a.m. Two officers found Paul Campbell in an apparently agitated state and armed with one or more knives outside the home, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said in a statement.


The officers, who made simultaneous decisions to shoot, both struck him, officials said. He was taken to South Shore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Patricia Campbell’s body was found with multiple stab wounds on the steps of the home, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, the Norfolk district attorney’s office said.

The district attorney’s office did not say whether Paul Campbell had charged the officers or whether the shooting was justified and said only that the deaths remained under investigation.

Campbell, who grew up in Dorchester, had a long record of arrests for drug possession, drunken driving, and assaulting police. His life also intersected with the families of two Boston mayors and the Wahlberg family.

Paul Campbell had a role in “The Fighter.”
Paul Campbell had a role in “The Fighter.”Matthew J. Lee

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s longtime girlfriend, Lorrie Higgins, had a child with Campbell 23 years ago. Campbell was ordered to provide child support for Lauren Ashley Campbell in 2007, according to documents in Suffolk Probate and Family Court. Higgins previously told the Globe that Campbell’s parents were “very, very good to Lauren and me both.”

On Monday, the mayor issued a statement saying the incident was personal and asking that the privacy of Higgins and her daughter be respected.


“This is an ongoing investigation and it is not my place to speculate on why or how this happened,” he said. “My focus right now is on my family, Lorrie and Lauren, and their well-being.”

Campbell was a friend of the Wahlberg family in the years that actor Mark Wahlberg has been trying to forget, as he seeks a pardon to clear his record of his 1988 beating of a Vietnamese man with a stick. Campbell and Wahlberg were both arrested in 1990 outside the Wahlbergs’ house in Braintree where a party had turned into a fracas. Campbell was charged with disorderly conduct and assault and battery of a police officer, records show.

Campbell’s arrests continued over the years, and he became addicted to heroin, according to his lawyer’s own admission in a 1997 court filing. At that time, Campbell was charged with heroin possession, intent to distribute heroin in a school zone, and assaulting a police officer — who happened to be the son of then-Mayor Thomas M. Menino, according to the criminal complaint. Campbell served nine months in the Suffolk House of Corrections.

Later, Campbell was charged with drunken driving and drug possession. Three times since 2004, he was charged with scalping tickets outside Red Sox and Celtics games, Boston Municipal Court filings show.

In recent years, however, his ties to Wahlberg brought him some measure of attention. Campbell had registered a Wahlberg fan site in 2002, and the actor helped Campbell to get bit parts in Wahlberg’s prominent movies.


Campbell had a role in “The Fighter,” as Gary “Boo Boo” Giuffrida, and a memorable scene as a toothless crack addict play-acting a boxer’s legendary performance in the ring.

Wahlberg spoke of Campbell’s first acting experience in a 2010 story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, describing him as “one of the guys I used to look up to in Dorchester, and who I got into a lot of trouble with.”

“I thought he could give a very real performance,” Wahlberg was quoted as saying. “And he was fantastic.”

Campbell went on to play roles in “Ted” and “American Hustle” as well.

The scene in Weymouth on Monday was tragically cinematic. Blood stains were visible on a white wooden staircase outside the Cape-style home with black shutters and views of Hingham Bay.

The officers involved in the shooting have been put on administrative leave, according to protocol, authorities said.

“There is no such thing as a routine call . . . situations like this illustrate that,” Weymouth Police Chief Richard Grimes said at a 7 a.m. news conference Monday.

Police have made three trips to the home in recent years, all for medical assistance, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

Derek Edmonds, 30, a neighbor who lives at the top of Prospect Hill Drive, said he heard Paul Campbell’s voice coming from the second floor as he walked past the house around midnight.

“I thought he was talking to a neighbor or was on his phone,” Edmonds said, standing in his kitchen Monday afternoon.


About 20 minutes later, as he walked past the Campbell house again, Edmonds said he saw Campbell leaning out a second floor window. Edmonds said it was difficult to understand Campbell, who seemed intoxicated.

“He wasn’t really making any sense. I said ‘What did you say?’ He said, ‘Never mind. Just keep it moving.’ And then he said something like, ‘You don’t want to look back here. It’s terrible.’ ” Edmonds said.

Edmonds returned home and soon after heard gunshots.

“I looked out and saw the blue lights. I walked down there. I saw that he was on the ground, on the bottom of the steps,” Edmonds said.

Edmonds said it was very dark and said he did not see Patricia Campbell’s body on the front steps until investigators illuminated the area.

“She was just laying lifeless. You could see she had two big stab wounds on her back,” Edmonds said.

Mike Brennan, 62, who lives on Hill Top Road directly behind the Campbell home, said he stayed up late watching coverage of the Patriots’s AFC Championship victory and heard shots being fired.

“I heard, ‘Get down,’ and then ‘pop-pop-pop.’ I said, ‘Oh, my God. Those are gunshots.’ It was crazy,” Brennan recalled.

His wife, Mary, 63, said she used to chat with Patricia Campbell over their fence.

“She was a wonderful, neighborly lady,” Mary Brennan said. “She was private but always pleasant. This is a very sad day for our neighborhood.”


Peggy McLaughlin, 52, who lives a few houses away from the Campbells, said she frequently saw Paul Campbell walking around the neighborhood wearing sweat pants and carrying a gym bag.

Peter DeLuca, 46, who lives across the street from the Campbell home, said he would stop to chat with Paul Campbell when walking in the neighborhood.

“He seemed to have some financial struggles,” DeLuca said. “Saw him last week and he said he was going to move to California to get into acting. I said, ‘Well, why don’t you just go?’ And he said he needed to get the money together.”

Andrew Ryan, Sally Jacobs, and James Duffy of the Globe Staff and Globe correspondents Aneri Pattani and George Rizer contributed to this report. Katherine McCabe can be reached at katherine.mccabe@globe.com. Stephanie Ebbert can be reached at Stephanie.Ebbert@globe.com.