DiFronzo, officer who fired, cleared of wrongdoing

Photo by Bobbie Toner

By George P. Hassett

The fatal police shooting of a 33-year-old Somerville woman was ruled to be justifiable today by the Middlesex District Attorney’s office.
“Upon a completion of this investigation, our conclusion is that the responses of the officers were justifiable under the law to affect lawful objectives, bring the incident under control, and protect lives. The reckless actions of the decedent placed the lives of all three officers and others in danger. The officer who discharged his firearm did so to save his, Lieutenant Anzalone’s, and possibly others’ lives, including the officers who had been stabbed by the decedent and remained on scene. Having made our determination under the law regarding the legal justifiability of the shooting by the officer we have, per protocol, referred the matter back to the Somerville Police Department so that they can perform whatever internal administrative review of the incident they deem appropriate,” a statement from the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said.

The DA’s office also revealed the officer who shot the woman, Officer Dante DiFronzo, who was also stabbed by Kingsley in the attack.
According to the statement the investigation revealed the following facts:
On Friday, July 23, 2010, at approximately 6:30 a.m., Somerville Police received a 911 call where the caller informed the dispatcher that his girlfriend was inside of her apartment at 10 Sycamore Terrace, Apartment 2L in Somerville and that she had tried to stab him and had set his clothes on fire inside of the apartment.  It was the second 911 call from the apartment that morning, the first occurring around 3:00 a.m.
Somerville police officers Marc DiFava and Jose Ramirez arrived at 10 Sycamore Terrace within minutes of the 911 call.  Upon arrival, they observed that the other residents of 10 Sycamore Terrace, which is a five unit apartment building, were outside of the building as a result of the fire alarm going off.  The boyfriend met the police and told them that his girlfriend, Carol Lynn Kingsley, 33, was in her apartment, burning his clothes and screaming that she would kill someone.  When Officers DiFava and Ramirez went inside, Kingsley was heard screaming, “You can die.  Die the world.”
Officers DiFava and Ramirez knocked on Kingsley’s door but she refused to open it.  They could smell the smoke emanating from inside of her apartment.  Officer Ramirez began to kick the door in an attempt to enter.  He turned around backwards to back-kick the door and as he did Kingsley opened the door from the inside, immediately lunged toward Officer Ramirez with a knife, and stabbed him in the back.  The officer felt the knife enter his upper back area and quickly turned around to stop her advance.  As the officer was turning around, Kingsley plunged the knife into his upper chest area.  She pulled the knife out and stabbed him again in the same area.  As Officer Ramirez was being stabbed, Officer DiFava attempted to intervene, but due to the small space in which they were standing at the top of the stairs they could not stop Kingsley.  She then stabbed Officer DiFava in his upper back area.
Officer Ramirez was losing blood and stumbled down the front stairs and out of the apartment building.  Kingsley chased Officer DiFava and threw a knife at him, just barely missing him.  Officer DiFava indicated over the police radio that officers were injured and that more officers were needed at the scene.
Officer Dante DiFronzo of the Somerville Police Department arrived on scene.  Members from the Somerville Fire Department also arrived on scene.  Fire Lieutenant Michael Anzalone could see smoke coming from the back of the apartment and a resident of the building told him there was a fire inside.  Lieutenant Anzalone saw Officers Ramirez and DiFava, who told him that Kingsley had stabbed them.   He entered the apartment building with Officer DiFronzo.
Kingsley had again locked the door to her apartment.  Lieutenant Anzalone and Officer DiFronzo attempted to gain access to the apartment.  Finally, because of the smell of smoke, Lieutenant Anzalone used the oxygen tank on his back to force the door open.  As he breached the door, he fell into the apartment and saw Kingsley standing in the middle of the small room holding two approximately eight-inch  knives in her hands, with blood covering the front of her shirt.  She held the knife toward Lieutenant Anzalone, who stood just a few feet away, but did not stab him.  Officer DiFronzo moved Lieutenant Anzalone out of the way and ordered Kingsley to drop the knives.  She did not comply, but instead backed into the adjoining bathroom.  Because of the small size of the apartment when Officer Difronzo again ordered her to drop the knives, she was within arms reach of him.  The officer than drew his department-issued firearm and ordered her to drop the weapons.  Kingsley then dropped both weapons on the ground.  Officer DiFronzo ordered her to step away from the knives.  However, Kingsley grabbed one of the knives she had just put down and lunged at the officer, slicing his hand open with the knife.  Officer DiFronzo fired one shot from his department-issued firearm, fatally wounding Kingsley.
The Office of the Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Kingsley and determined the cause and manner of death to be homicide resulting from a single gunshot wound to the head.


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