- Essex District Attorney’s Office
Media Contact for DA Blodgett Releases Findings in Lynn Police Involved Shooting
Carrie Kimball, Director of Communications
Lynn, MA — Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett has concluded his investigation of the November 2, 2020 fatal police shooting of John Mellone of Somerville and released his findings today.
“At the time that Lynn Officer Nhen Tran fired his weapon at Mr. Mellone, he reasonably believed that Revere Officer Leo MacAskill was in imminent danger of serious injury or death. Mellone had repeatedly failed to comply with officers’ orders to exit the vehicle. After MacAskill attempted to use non-deadly force (pepper spray) to take Mallone into custody, Mallone drove his vehicle toward MacAskill, trapping him against the car. He continued to drive the car forward, further endangering MacAskill,” said District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. “Therefore, my office has determined that the forced used by Officer Tran was lawful.”
The investigation found that at approximately 8:07 am on November 2, 2020, Mellone, 39, attempted to rob a pharmacy in Revere. He fled the store at a high rate of speed in a silver BMW. Revere Officer Leo MacAskill attempted to stop the fleeing vehicle and pursued him into Lynn. Lynn dispatch was notified that the BMW was entering Lynn and a description of the vehicle was broadcast to Lynn officers. The information given to Lynn officers included that Mellone was armed. Mellone eventually turned on to Witt St., a dead end street, and drove to the end of the street with the Revere cruiser in pursuit.
Tran was working a paid traffic detail near Witt Street when he heard the broadcast regarding the pursuit of the BMW. Tran saw Mellone’s BMW turn down Witt Street followed by the Revere cruiser. Officer Tran ran to assist.
Mellone performed a three-point turn so that his BMW was now facing the Revere cruiser, which was partially blocking the BMW. MacAskill, who was positioned in front of the car, drew his service weapon and ordered Mellone out of the car. When Tran arrived at the scene, he also drew his service weapon and began ordering Mellone out of the car. Mellone failed to comply with the officers’ orders. Tran opened the driver’s side door in an attempt to physically remove Mellone from the car. After that failed, MacAskill approached the car, extended his arm into the car and pepper sprayed Mellone. Mellone drove forward, trapping MacAskill between the car and the now closing car door. As Mellone continued to drive forward, further wedging MacAskill, Tran fired his weapon 8 times. Mellone was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation included a review of surveillance videos from the area of Witt Street, interviews with civilian witnesses and responding Lynn and Revere police officers, evidence collected at the scene, police radio transmissions, evidence and witness statement from the scene of attempted robberies in Revere and Medford, MA, information from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, MSP Crime Scene Services, Crime Lab and Firearm Identification Section.
The matter has been referred to the Lynn Police Department for whatever internal administrative review is deemed appropriate.