For Immediate Release - July 28, 2008

Case in Yarmouth on July 27, 2008

On Sunday, July 27, at approximately 1:10 am, a Yarmouth Police patrol car operated by Officer Christopher Van Ness was observing a vehicle. Evidence gathered during the investigation shows that the vehicle sped up to a high rate of speed on Harbor Road, located in a neighborhood in West Yarmouth. As a result of the speed of the vehicle, the officer put on his blue lights in an attempt to signal the operator to stop. The operator turned onto Baxter Road which intersects with Route 28. Other Yarmouth Police vehicles were located at the intersection of 28 and Baxter Road displaying blue lights. The vehicle in question turned sharply left onto the lawn of a house located at 41 Baxter Road with the officer following behind the car. The car left numerous deep markings in the lawn, evidencing its attempt to use the lawn to make a U turn. The car ultimately made the turn, reversed direction and headed off the lawn, toward the pursuing police car and back in the opposite direction.

A number of shots were fired by Officer Van Ness and the car slowed down and stopped a short distance down Baxter Road.

An autopsy was conducted this morning by Dr. Henry Nields, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Preliminary results show that the operator of the vehicle in question died of a single gunshot wound that perforated the body, specifically the heart and lungs.

The deceased has been identified as Andre Martins of Brazil, his last known address in Massachusetts was 108 Mitchell's Way, Hyannis. Mr. Martin had no relatives here. His father and brother were notified today by the State Police with the help of the Brazilian Consulate in Boston.

The deceased was smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette which was still in his mouth as paramedics pulled him from the vehicle to render aid.

In the vehicle with the deceased was a female passenger, age 25. She is the mother of his two children. She has given a statement to State Police investigators and has been cooperative.

Officer Christopher Van Ness, age 34, has been a full time Yarmouth Police Officer for more than 3 years and prior to that was an officer in the Town of Harwich.

The case remains under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney's office. An accident reconstruction team and Ballistics personnel from the State Police are also involved in the investigation.

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