Mar. 10, 2011
BOSTON — The family of a 68-year-old Framingham man shot and killed by police while unarmed in his home is considering asking the federal government to investigate the incident, after a District Attorney's report released Wednesday ruled the shooting an accident.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone's report said retired MBTA worker Eurie Stamps was unarmed and laying on the ground when a SWAT-team member, Officer Paul Duncan, tripped and shot him.
Stamps had just returned from shopping with his wife on Jan. 5. They were in their bedroom watching a basketball game on television. Unbeknownst to them, Framingham police were outside their home at 26 Fountain Street conducting a stakeout.
Around midnight, the police spotted the main suspect of their investigation -- 20-year-old Joseph Bushfan, Eurie Stamp’s step-son -- walking along the street with friends. Although Bushfan was quickly apprehended, a 15-to-18-member SWAT team proceeded to raid the Stamps’ home, forcing Eurie Stamps, his wife and another family member, Devon Talbert, to the floor..
It was while Stamps was face down that officer Paul Duncan’s semi-automatic rifle went off. According to the report, Officer Duncan tripped while attempting to handcuff Stamps and check him for weapons.
The report reads:
Officer Duncan removed his left hand from his rifle, which was pointing down towards the ground, and put his left arm out to try and catch himself. As he did so, he heard a shot and then his body made impact with the wall.
The Middlesex County DA says no charges are pending against Officer Duncan and concluded that the incident does not "rise to the level of criminal conduct, and the shooting death of Eurie Stamps was an accident."
But the attorneys for the Bushfan and Stamp families aren’t buying it.
“The story, frankly, has a patina of implausibility,” said lawyer Anthony Tarricone. “There are many unanswered questions here. According to the District Attorney, a member of this elite trained SWAT team’s gun was discharged and shot Mr. Stamps when he was on the ground face down, just doesn’t make any sense.”
Attorney Tony Fugate, who is representing Eurie Stamp’s widow, Norma Bushfan, says they are considering asking for a federal investigation into the case:
“It is something that we are considering at this particular point. We absolutely believe a more thorough investigation needs to be done. As I speak to you, we are looking at a copy of the report that was provided this afternoon. This is a report we’re told they recorded a number of individuals and there’s very little detail in this report. A report that has taken them seen to eight weeks to put together, is four pages long,” Fugate said.
Meanwhile, the case is still being reviewed by the Framingham police department.
THE STAMPS CASE: 'TRAGEDY BEYOND MEASURE'