DANVERS — A troubled Danvers man was fatally shot by police after advancing on them with a knife late Thursday night, officials said Friday.
Scott Kehoe, 37, of 5113 Kirkbride Drive, the site of the former Danvers State Hospital, was pronounced dead at Beverly Hospital.
Police had been called to the apartment complex shortly before 10 p.m. on a report of an assault, and authorities were also attempting to serve court warrants on Kehoe, the Essex District Attorney’s office said.
Court records indicate that Kehoe had failed to appear for court proceedings in a pending kidnapping and home invasion case in South Boston, and in a second case in Salem District Court involving resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.
He was also in the midst of eviction proceedings for the second time this year; a hearing in that case was scheduled for Aug. 28, according to court records.
Four Danvers police officers and a state police trooper went to the apartment complex, which is located near the junction of Route 1 and Route 62.
The district attorney’s office said it appears Kehoe approached the officers holding a knife and made repeated attempts to stab at them. He ignored orders to drop the knife, and then, officials said, lunged toward officers.
“At this point, officers deployed lethal force to stop Kehoe,” Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said in a press release.
The officers, along with Danvers firefighters, went to his aid. He was taken to Beverly Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Monahan.
Monahan would not identify the officers or the trooper involved. An autopsy will be conducted at the state medical examiner’s office.
The officers, who are being interviewed, have all been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation in accordance with department policy, said Monahan.
“The Essex district attorney’s office will conduct a full and impartial review of this morning’s police-involved shooting, a standard procedure for the use of fatal force in Essex County,” said District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.
“The community can count on a thorough investigation by our office. In all cases of use of fatal force, transparency is critical,” he added “As we have in prior investigations of police-involved shootings, community stakeholders and members of the media will have the opportunity to review our written findings when the probe is complete.”
Kehoe, who was a longtime Peabody resident before moving to Danvers, had struggled for years with mental illness and substance abuse, a family friend confirmed.
His parents, David and Mary Ellen Kehoe, until recently had physical custody of Kehoe’s children.
Kehoe has held jobs in the past, but had not worked recently.
There had been prior scrapes with the law, including a domestic assault case in 2006 in which he fled from police and was found by a police dog hiding on Brooksby Farm in Peabody; and another, also in Peabody, in 2007, when he was charged with assault and hospitalized for acute intoxication.
Then, in February, Kehoe was arrested on more serious charges of kidnapping and home invasion by police in South Boston. According to the Suffolk district attorney’s office, Kehoe and another man forced their way into an apartment on Old Colony Avenue on Feb. 23 and robbed the 60-year-old resident of cash, prescription drugs and a bottle of alcohol.
Prosecutors in that case had asked that Kehoe be held on $25,000 bail, but he was released on $750 bail.
On June 16, he was arrested again, on charges that included resisting arrest, after allegedly getting into a confrontation with police and firefighters who had been called to his Danvers apartment to provide medical aid.
Kehoe had missed a court hearing on Aug. 2 in Boston Muncipal Court in South Boston and then failed to appear on Aug. 8 for a hearing in the Danvers case.
Kehoe had lived at the Avalon Danvers apartments since at least 2011, when the first of what would be three eviction proceedings were launched against him. The first two were settled and he was able to continue living there.
Housing Court records show that Avalon went to court on Aug. 12 to again begin eviction proceedings.
A private security officer barred reporters from entering the grounds of the complex yesterday.
Several residents, reached by phone, said they heard nothing of the shooting until yesterday morning.
“I had no idea anything was going on until I came back from shopping and a cop asked if I lived here,” said Carmine Pucillo, 87. Pucillo said the complex does not normally have private security.
Another resident, Sharon Labastie, said she had called the leasing office to try to find out what was happening, but was told they would not release any information.
Police and the district attorney’s office released a statement at mid-morning saying that the incident was not random and there was no risk to the public’s safety.
Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.