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Everett official shot to death, allegedly by estranged husband

Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo.
Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo.Katy Rogers

EVERETT — A member of the Everett Board of Assessors and second cousin to the city’s mayor was fatally shot, allegedly by her estranged husband, as she sat in her car in the driveway of her parents’ home Wednesday morning while she prepared to leave for work, authorities said.

Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo, 50, was found in her vehicle in the driveway of the home on Central Avenue, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan.

Matarazzo was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Ryan.

“She had sustained several gunshot wounds to the torso,” Ryan told reporters at a news conference Wednesday.

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Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said his second cousin was a “very loving, caring woman” who was “very family-oriented, community-oriented, and very committed to her church.”

Matarazzo is the mother of three adult children, officials said.

She previously served on the School Committee, was active in the Kiwanis Club, and was always willing to volunteer her time to help others, he said.

“She truly loved the city of Everett,” he said. “This is a huge loss to the community.”

Ryan said Matarazzo’s husband, Emilio Matarazzo, 55, of Peabody, turned himself in at the Everett police station and has been charged with murder. He is slated to be arraigned Thursday in Malden District Court, prosecutors said.

Ryan said he used either a shotgun or a long gun in the attack.

The shooting was reported around 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, and Emilio Matarazzo surrendered less than two hours later, officials said.

“As a precautionary measure, the Everett High School was locked down in the immediate aftermath of the shooting,” Ryan’s office said Wednesday afternoon in a statement. “The lockdown has since ended. The investigation suggests that this is not a random incident of violence and that there is no danger to the public.”

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Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie offered condolences to the victim’s family.

Mazzie said Ersilia Matarazzo was “very well known” in the city and had “a large extended family.”

“Our hearts go out to them,” he said. “I personally have known her for a long time. She’s a lovely lady and very involved in the community.”

“I know she’s been involved with St. Anthony’s parish for a long time,” Mazzie said. “She’s well known, well-liked, well-respected, [has a] large extended family . . . and it’s just sad to see something like this happen to a person like that.”

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Boston said, “We are shocked and heartbroken to learn of this horrendous tragedy.”

“Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo was a respected and valued member of the parish community and staff,” read the statement. “We pray for the repose of the soul of Ersilia. We offer our prayers and support to Saint Anthony Padua Parish as well as to Ersilia’s loved ones all of whom are experiencing this terrible loss.”

Authorities said Matarazzo had been staying with her parents and was on her way to work when she was attacked.

When asked whether the couple had filed for divorce, Ryan replied: “There has been some action with respect to the marriage, we don’t have all the details of that, but I believe there is a divorce in some stage.”

Ryan said there was no restraining order involving the couple.

A neighbor of the victim’s parents on Central Avenue declined to comment when reached by phone. Other neighbors couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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B.J. Devereux, the city assessor, said Matarazzo was a dedicated member of the board of assessors who never missed a meeting.

“She really took it seriously,” he said.

Devereux said she would “always go out of her way to accommodate, whether it was a meeting time or something that we needed done on short notice, she’d come over after work from the church in the afternoon and we could always count on her.”

Devereux and other city officials were shocked by the news of her death. “It’s such a tragedy,” he said.

Assistant City Clerk Dave Ragucci said he’d known Matarazzo for close to 30 years. She was born and raised in Everett and grew up in a tight-knit Italian family, he said.

“She was very involved in our community,” said Ragucci, a former Everett mayor. “My heart breaks for her family. Her mom and dad are very hardworking, honest people . . . who just didn’t deserve this.”


Travis Andersen and Danny McDonald of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.