The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in Massachusetts. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.
The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Davon Kelly-Griffin CONVICTED
Date: September 8, 2017
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On September 8, 2017, concealed carry permit holder Davon Kelly-Griffin, 29, shot and killed Rakishon Pedraza, 27, on a walkway in Springfield, Massachusetts. According to his defense lawyer, Kelly-Griffin had exited a friend’s vehicle and approached Pedraza to buy marijuana, but “in less than five seconds” was forced to shoot Pedraza because he thought he was going to pull a gun on him. Pedraza who was also armed, was shot five times but never used his gun. On February 4, 2019, Kelly-Griffin was found guilty of first degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Kelly-Griffin was also found guilty of improper storage of a firearm for a gun that was found beneath the floor mat of his car on the day he was arrested two months after he shot Pedraza.
Source: “Davon Kelly-Griffin sentenced to life in prison with no parole in Springfield murder of Rakishon Pedraza,” masslive.com, February 6, 2019; “Jury finds Davon Kelly-Griffin guilty of first degree murder in Springfield shooting of Rakishon Pedraza,” masslive.com, February 4, 2019; “Davon Kelly-Griffin will testify he killed Rakishon Pedraza in self defense, lawyer says as Springfield trial starts,” masslive.com, January 28, 2019.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Jacinto Maldonado CONVICTED
Date: August 22, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On August 22, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Jacinto Maldonado, 42, allegedly shot and killed Carlos Maldonado, 24, outside an apartment building in Worcester, Massachusetts with a 45 caliber Glock pistol following a physical altercation. Maldonado is not related to the victim. According to police and court officials, the two men had been involved in an ongoing neighbor dispute. A search warrant affidavit stated that Jacinto Maldonado “feared for his life” and had been attacked by the victim and his two brothers prior to the shooting. Jacinto Maldonado’s wife, who was inside their apartment at the time of the shooting, told police she heard someone yell “We’re going to kill you” and then a gunshot. The victim was found bleeding in a driveway and was pronounced dead at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center-University Campus. Maldonado told police he owned four other guns in addition to the Glock used to kill the victim, including a second Glock pistol and an AR-15 assault rifle, which police recovered at an Auburn storage facility. Investigators also found boxes of ammunition and two 30-round magazines for an M-4 type rifle in an open safe in Maldonado’s apartment. Maldonado was held without bail in Worcester Superior Court after he was arraigned on murder, firearms, and assault charges.
UPDATE: On May 4, 2018, Jacinto Maldonado pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon (firearm), assault and battery, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building in the death of Carlos Maldonado. He was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison on the manslaughter charge, and lesser, concurrent sentences on the other charges.
Source: “Worcester man pleads guilty to manslaughter in shooting of his neighbor,” telegram.com, May 4, 2018; “Police say witness heard someone yell ‘We’re going to kill you’ before deadly dispute between neighbors,” www.masslive.com, February 2, 2017.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Patrick Riccardi-O’Connor PENDING
Date: June 28, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On June 28, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Patrick Riccardi-O’Connor, 23, allegedly shot and killed David Atherton, 24, in Atherton’s home in Stoneham. The shooting took place after the two childhood friends had spent the evening drinking and playing with the gun. At one point, Riccardi-O’Connor swallowed a bullet before chasing it with a beer. Both men had served in the National Guard, Riccardi-O’Connor as an MP. Initially Riccardi-O’Connor stated that the victim had shot himself, but after being confronted with video the two had shot he admitted that “he had been fooling around with the gun and pointed it at the victim and pulled the trigger, but did not expect that a bullet would come out.” Riccardi-O’Connor was charged with
involuntary manslaughter, assault, and weapon charges.
Source: “EMT charged in deadly dare game,” Boston Herald, June 30, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Ross Tucker CONVICTED
Date: February 1, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On February 1, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Ross Tucker, 23, allegedly shot and killed Eric Benedict, 25, at a residence both men were visiting in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Benedict was found suffering from a single gunshot wound to the head and was later pronounced dead at Lawrence General Hospital. It is unclear who owned the gun used to kill Benedict and who brought it to the residence the night Benedict was killed. Tucker was charged with involuntary manslaughter and carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.
UPDATE: In January 2017, Ross Tucker was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Eric Benedict. On February 15, 2017, Tucker was sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison.
Sources: “Tucker sentenced to 7 to 10 years in prison for fatal Haverhill shooting,” www.eagletribune.com, February 15, 2017; “Haverhill man on trial for manslaughter in friend’s shooting death,” www.eagletribune.com, January 18, 2017.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Stephen Pasceri SUICIDE
Date: January 20, 2015
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On January 20, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Stephen Pasceri, 55, shot and killed Dr. Michael Davidson, 44, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts before turning the gun on himself. Pasceri reportedly asked for Dr. Davidson and sought him out before the shooting. Pasceri’s mother was reportedly treated by Dr. Davidson before she died in November 2014. According to Pasceri’s sister, he had been handling her death well. She said, “This was not a bad, evil man. Something happened, and I don’t know what.”
Source: “Boston cardiac surgeon dies hours after hospital shooting,” UPI.com, January 21, 2015; “Stephen Pasceri: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,” heavy.com, January 20, 2015.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Name Unknown UNINTENTIONAL
Date: September 29, 2012
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On September 29, 2012, David Wade, 17, was allegedly shot and killed by his 21-year-old brother, in the basement of their family home. Wade died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Wade’s brother, who was recently licensed to carry a firearm, was not charged in the shooting as it appeared to be unintentional.
Source: “Stoughton, Mass. teen dies after being shot in chest,” www.necn.com, September 29, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: David H. McCall CONVICTED
Date: March 28, 2011
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On March 28, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder David H. McCall, 72, allegedly shot and killed his wife, Elaine, 69, with a handgun. According to news reports, the shooting occurred during an argument between the two in which Elaine Hall “vowed to quit cooking and caring” for Hall, and “ridiculed” him for missing her with his first shot. Police first heard of the incident when McCall dialed 911 that morning to report a murder and a suicide, apparently indicating that he was planning to take his own life. When police arrived, McCall was sitting in a chair in the kitchen, a medical walker in front of him. Elaine McCall was lying face up next to the front door, still alive. She was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. McCall reportedly told police that the two were standing near the front entrance of their home when they began arguing. McCall’s first shot missed his wife, but his second hit her in the chest. After the shooting McCall walked to the kitchen, where he apparently failed in an attempt to shoot himself. In court proceedings, the retired accountant “appeared weary and bewildered” and had to be lifted from his wheelchair and held up by court officers during the 15- minute legal proceeding. Hall was charged with murder and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building. He entered a plea of not guilty.
UPDATE: On September 25, 2012, David McCall pleaded guilty to second degree murder and three counts of improper storage of a firearm in the murder of his wife Elaine. McCall was sentenced to life in prison.
Source: “McCall pleads guilty to murdering wife,” Wakefield Patch, September 25, 2012; “Wakefield man killed wife, authorities say,” Boston Globe, March 29, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Jerry Bourque PENDING
Date: September 7, 2010
People Killed: 2
Circumstances: On September 7, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Jerry Bourque, 25, allegedly shot and killed Lakeem Tombs, 18, and Virgilio Dipre, 19, following an altercation that escalated into a gun battle that left Bourque hospitalized in critical but stable condition with six gunshot wounds. According to Bourque’s mother, Bourque told her that he and a friend were sitting on his front steps when Tombs and Dipre approached and asked if they knew a woman named Veronica. Bourque answered in the negative, and the two men left. They returned moments later and asked Bourque to confirm the street they were on. They then allegedly began pistol-whipping Bourque, who drew his revolver and began firing. Police investigating the shooting executed a search warrant on Bourque’s home and removed a number of items from the house. Malden Mayor Richard C. Howard said that drugs were recovered at the scene, but that it was unclear whether they had played a role in the gunfight. Howard told the press that authorities believe the shooting was not random, stating, “These people were there for some specific reason.” State police assigned to the District Attorney’s office are continuing to investigate the incident.
Source: “Second man dies after Salem Street shooting,” boston.com, September 10, 2010; “1 killed, 2 wounded in Malden shoot-out,” boston.com, September 8, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Brian Marchand SUICIDE
Date: February 1, 2010
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On February 1, 2010, Brian Marchand shot and killed his 17-year-old daughter and severely wounded his wife with a 9mm handgun before turning the gun on himself. Police received two 911 hang-up calls from the Marchand home and immediately called back. Olivia, a cheerleader and volleyball player at Westford Academy, answered and said “she was all set and there isn’t a problem.” Shots then rang out over the phone. Police rushed to the scene and found three bodies on the floor, with Marchand’s wife clinging to her life. According to the District Attorney, the Marchands were having some “marital discord” and financial trouble. Marchand had a concealed handgun permit and was an avid hunter.
Source: “Cops: Westford man kills daughter, self in triple shooting;” Boston Herald, February 2, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: John P. Tassinari CONVICTED
Date: April 22, 2008
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On April 22, 2008, concealed handgun permit holder John P. Tassinari shot and killed his wife and mother of his one-year-old son Barbara Tassinari because he thought she was having an affair. Tassinari used two .45 handguns to repeatedly shoot his wife in the driveway of their home. After the shooting, Tassinari called 911 and said, “My wife has been cheating on me, and I just shot her dead. Please come arrest me….I’m sorry.” Barbara Tassinari’s older brother and next door neighbor Francis Scolaro—who also possessed a concealed handgun permit—heard the shooting, arrived with a .32 handgun, found his sister’s body and forced Tassinari to the ground, holding the gun to his head while vowing to shoot and kill him. Scolaro was disarmed at gunpoint by Abington police officer Ronald Sweeney. Barbara Tassinari’s family described John Tassinari as “infamously obsessive,” stating that he needed his hair shaved every Friday, would wear shorts every day throughout the year, would make sure that his wife would never have any cash, and would demand receipts for every purchase she made. On his MySpace page, John Tassinari described himself as a gun enthusiast and firearms safety instructor who loved “cars, guns, motorcycles, vodka, and A/V equipment.” John Tassinari was issued his concealed handgun permit in 2004. He was charged with one count of murder and held without bail.
UPDATE: On November 1, 2010, John Tassinari was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. “It was an execution,” Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said after the verdict was read. According to the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Barbara Tassinari’s body, the damage was so extensive that it was difficult to tell how many times she’d been shot. “Justice was served, absolutely,” said neighbor Anne Irwin, who had witnessed Barbara Tassinari falling in her driveway, calling her husband a “sick, sick guy.”
Source: “Brother of Abington’s Barbara Tassinari: Murder verdict against her husband ‘couldn’t have gone any other way,’” Enterprisenews.com, November 2, 2010; “Victim’s kin say spouse was controlling;” Boston Globe, April 25, 2008; “Abington husband charged with murder,” Boston Globe, April 23, 2008.