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Firefighter allegedly shot by crony while drinking, personification with gun

Courtesy Stoneham Fire Department

Stoneham Firefighter David Atherton.

WOBURN — With his childhood crony mortally wounded, Patrick Riccardi-O’Connor allegedly misled nearing Stoneham police, revelation them that firefighter David Atherton had shot himself with a pistol on a building subsequent to his quiescent body, according to a troops report.

But when Riccardi-O’Connor was questioned after during troops headquarters, he allegedly certified he was a one who shot Atherton desiring a gun was not installed while they were both celebration alcohol, a news said. Atherton, who recently assimilated a Stoneham glow department, had served as a troops troops officer for a Massachusetts Army National Guard.


“Mr. Riccardi-O’Connor admitted.. . . . that he and Mr. Atherton had been celebration ethanol and rowdiness around with a gun,’’ Stoneham Police Detective Stephen Carroll wrote in a news filed in Woburn District Court. “Mr. Riccardi-O’Connor settled that he picked adult a gun . . . afterwards pulled a trigger and a gun fired, distinguished Mr. Atherton.’’

Atherton, who had assimilated a town’s glow dialect in February, was conspicuous passed during a stage of a 11:10 p.m. sharpened in a Congress Street home.

“Mr. Riccardi-O’Connor . . . knew there was a repository in a gun though didn’t consider there was a bullet in a chamber,’’ Carroll wrote.

Riccardi-O’Connor was arraigned in a Woburn building where he pleaded not guilty to charges of contingent manslaughter, attack and battery with a dangerous weapon, and discharging a firearm.

During a arraignment, Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Lynch conspicuous that Riccardi-O’Connor and Atherton were childhood friends who videotaped themselves as they played with a firearm. At one indicate during a horeseplay and before a shooting, Riccardi-O’Connor ingested a bullet, Lynch said.


Like Atherton, Riccardi-O’Connor was a troops troops officer with a National Guard, said.

Bail was set during $25,000 money and invulnerability profession Andrea Levy conspicuous it will be posted. Riccardi-O’Connor will be underneath residence arrest, have a 6 p.m. curfew and contingency wear a GPS monitoring bracelet once released.

Stoneham Fire Chief Matthew Grafton conspicuous Atherton was sworn in as a firefighter Feb. 11, a same day Grafton insincere a position of chief.

Atherton’s relatives are dead, Grafton said.

“We’ll give him a good sendoff, a best we can,” he said.

Chief Grafton conspicuous Atherton graduated Stoneham High School in 2011. Grafton conspicuous during his use with a Massachusetts Army National Guard, Atherton was a troops troops officer who deployed to Qatar in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2012 to 2013.

Atherton was awarded 8 times during his National Guard career for his actions, including a receipt of a Army Commendation Medal, officials said.

“Firefighter Atherton always wanted to assistance people. He was unselfish and dedicated, and he overcame good tragedy as he mislaid both of his relatives during a immature age. we can't assistance though feel that a best was nonetheless to come for this immature man, and we in a Stoneham Fire Department are still entrance to terms with this loss,” conspicuous Grafton in a matter expelled Wednesday.

The Stoneham Fire Fighters Local 2116 conspicuous Atherton done a clever sense notwithstanding his brief time with a department.

“Dave was usually a member of Local 2116 given Feb of 2016, though he fast became one of us and will be sorely missed,” a kinship conspicuous in a matter posted to a Facebook page. The kinship conspicuous a 24-year-old Atherton had served for 5 years in a Army National Guard.

“Dave not usually served a Town of Stoneham honorably, though served his nation as well, abroad and locally for a past 5 years. Rest easy Brother, we will be missed,’’ a kinship posting reads.

Interim Town Administrator Bob Markel commended Atherton’s service.

“On interest of a whole community, we offer my many frank condolences to Firefighter Atherton’s family and friends and his glow dialect family during this formidable time,” he conspicuous in a statement.

John R. Ellement of a Globe staff contributed to this article. Dylan McGuinness can be reached during dylan.mcguinness@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter during @DylMcGuinness. Laura Crimaldi can be reached during laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.

Article source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/06/29/stoneham-man-faces-charges-for-shooting-and-killing-his-friend-while-playing-with-gun/F4fnXTIDRtGkuf0FPNNmQM/story.html