Office Shooting Memorial in Mass.
Dec. 29, 2000
WAKEFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ Wreaths, notes and a single teddy bear lined a brick wall outside Edgewater Technology Inc. Across the street, hundreds of mourners streamed inside St. Joseph's Church.
The church that had served as a refuge for people fleeing a shooting rampage at the Internet consulting company days earlier became a place of healing Thursday night for hundreds who gathered to pay tribute to the seven people who were killed.
``We pray that out of this unspeakable tragedy we may resolve to recognize, each one of us, the inviolable dignity of each human being,'' said Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston's Roman Catholic Archdiocese.
During the 45 minute service, the names of the victims were solemnly called out: Janice Hagerty. Cheryl Troy. Louis Javelle. Craig Wood. Paul Marceau. Rose Manfredi. Jennifer Bragg Capobianco.
Midway through the service the lights were dimmed for a moment of silent meditation, and then relatives of the victims approached the altar one by one to each light a candle.
The alleged shooter, Edgewater employee Michael M. McDermott, has pleaded innocent to seven counts of murder. His lawyer said McDermott had been undergoing treatment and taking medication for an undisclosed psychiatric problem.
Haverhill police say they were looking for McDermott 36 hours before the shooting spree. Police were investigating reports of gunshots on Christmas Eve when a resident reported that McDermott's car, with its distinctive ``Mucko'' license plate, was seen on a street where officers found two spent shotgun shells. Police said they were unable to locate him until he was arrested for the office shootings Tuesday.
``With a little bit of luck, we could have changed history,'' Haverhill police Sgt. Stephen Brighi told the Boston Herald. ``We think he was test firing the shotgun right in the street.''
Three minutes before the deadly shooting, McDermott received a brief telephone call from a financial company informing him that his car would be repossessed, The Boston Globe reported Friday.
The Globe, citing an unidentified source familiar with the call, said a Chrysler Financial supervisor told McDermott that his 1994 Plymouth Acclaim, with a book value of $5,390, would be seized for nonpayment of a 1997 loan.
Outside the St. Joseph's on Thursday night, mourners placed mementos to honor the dead. One plaque addressed to the 29-year-old Wood read, in part: ``I will miss you dearly. Your friendship and love will never be forgotten.''
Another note, tied to a pewter figurine featuring an angel playing a lute, was addressed to all seven victims: ``You're with the angels now. May they love and protect you ever after. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families during this time of loss.''
Steve and Jennifer Casco of Arlington went to college with the 29-year-old Bragg Capobianco and her husband, Jeff Capobianco. They were on the University of Massachusetts' crew team, spending hours training together and socializing.
Casco said he hoped authorities had somehow gotten it wrong and his friend wasn't among the victims.
``I was floored. I couldn't believe it,'' Casco said. ``I went to Web sites to find her name to see if it was spelled wrong.''
Casco and others who were on the crew team with the Capobiancos spent the next hours calling each other, praying and grieving.
``I was numb for the first few days. ... I've come to pray,'' he said.