The Essex County district attorney's office is changing course, now saying it will continue to investigate why a Hamilton police officer shot a Beverly officer before taking his own life on Friday night.
Earlier Monday, the DA's office said a deeper probe into the motive for the shooting is "not relevant" and would be "moot" because no criminal charges can be brought because the shooter is dead.
"That's not at all what I meant to suggest," said Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the DA. "Yes, we are going to get to the bottom of it as best we can. It's obviously a little more challenging when the suspect is deceased."
Monahan says the motive is relevant — even in cases like this, where the there can be no criminal prosecution — because the suspect has committed suicide.
"Understanding why and what happened is important," Monahan said, "because it could be related to other criminal activity, it could be, you know, we need to uncover as much as we can to understand it."
Authorities say Hamilton Sgt. Ken Nagy arranged to meet Beverly Officer Jason Lantych on Friday night when the 44-year-old Nagy shot him multiple times, fled and returned to commit suicide. Both were off duty.
Lantych's health is improving.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This article was originally published on February 27, 2012.
This program aired on February 27, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.