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IN DETAIL: Our Timeline of Friday's Firefight

Check out our real-time updates from the scene and police scanner transmissions during Friday night's shoot-out between Malden Police and suspected bank robbers.

By Roberto Scalese and Chris Caesar

NOTE:
The following, unedited timeline was compiled in real-time during Friday night's shoot-out and subsequent manhunt, and at some points includes unconfirmed information overheard from the city's public safety broadcasts. 

11:20 p.m.: The Middlesex DA just released the following press release that identifies the suspects, including one fatally shot in the exchange. William Eekasala, 35, of East Boston, Michael Ginnietti, 38, Winthrop, and Gabriel Megna, 48, no residence given.: 

MALDEN– The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with Malden and Saugus Police Departments, and the FBI Bank Robbery Task Force are conducting an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding a fatal police-involved shooting that occurred today on Broadway in Malden.

            According to authorities, at approximately 4:48 pm, Saugus Police received 911 calls reporting an armed bank robbery in progress at the Saugusbank at 412 Lynn Fells Parkway in Saugus.  Three known suspects allegedly fled the scene to a parking lot on Broadway in Malden where they exited their vehicle.  Initial reports indicate that shortly after 5 pm responding officers from Saugus and Malden Police Departments located the suspects in a nearby parking lot at 500 Broadway in Malden where gunfire was exchanged and one suspect was struck.  The suspect was transported toMassachusetts General Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.  He has been identified as William Eekasala, 35, of East Boston.  

Two additional suspects have been apprehended and are in police custody.  They have been identified as Michael Ginnietti, 38, Winthrop, and Gabriel Megna, 48.  Ginnietti was charged with armed robbery out of Saugus.   Megna was charged with armed carjacking, assault with a dangerous weapon and receiving a stolen motor.

            "This remains an active and ongoing multi jurisdictional, multi agency collaborative investigation,” said Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone.

The circumstances of the shooting incident remain under investigation.  The justifiability of the police involved shooting will be investigated by the District Attorney’s Office, per protocol.  The investigation remains active and ongoing.  Agencies involved in the investigation are the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Saugus and Malden Police Departments,Massachusetts State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Bank Robbery Task Force.

 

10:15 p.m.: The city has issued a second update via it's Code Red system: 

"This is the Malden Police with an Emergency Notification. At approximately 5:00PM Friday March 23rd, a very serious incident occurred involving firearms at 500 Broadway in Malden. The Malden Police have confirmed the apprehension of 3 of the 4 suspects involved and are actively searching for the 4th. Due to the serious nature of the situation please take precautionary measures such as locking doors and windows while the search is still underway. Please also stay vigilant and if you see anything suspicious, do not hesitate to call 911 and report the activity."

10 p.m.: Malden Mayor Gary Christenson was at the scene of the shooting near 500 Broadway, where he said he met with police to "check in" with the "impressive" officers carrying out the manhunt. 

"Tonight my role was just to check in on these men and women to see how they were, and if they needed any additional resources from the city," he said. 

Christenson said police are currently attempting to determine whether a fourth suspect remains at large, or if only three suspects were involved in the shoot-out. 

He added that residents should hopefully expect an update on the situation "before they go to bed" Friday. 

"I'm impressed with what they've been able to accomplish," he added, noting that no civilians or officers were harmed in the exchange.

9:33 p.m.: A Malden city source said three suspects were apprehended; one was shot and killed and two are in custody. Police believe there is one more suspect still at large in the area. Police have cleared the immediate area and are widening their search area.

Officers were unsure of the number of suspects and tried to piece together an accurate count from witness reports. They then stepped back, retraced the incident from the start and decided to continue the search for a fourth suspect, according to the source, who asked to remain anonymous because this is an active investigation. 

9:16 p.m.: One suspect was shot and killed and two others were arrested, according to Middlesex District Attorney spokesperson Cara O'Brien.

"We are investigating a fatal police-involved shooting. one suspect was shot and deceased. Two additional are in custody," said O'Brien. 

8:41 p.m.: Police may have a full confession from an arrested suspect, according to police radio transmissions.

8:25 p.m.: This is still an active scene. One suspect is confirmed caught, one is confirmed dead. There may be another at large suspect and another suspect arrested. There are conflicting accounts on official channels.

7:55 p.m.: The at-large suspect has been caught hiding under some stairs at 500 Broadway, according to police radio transmissions. 

7:45 p.m.: The Lynn Daily Item's Matt Tempesta reports police have found a bag of money at the Granada Highlands.

7:16 p.m.: SWAT has reportedly moved to the 400 block of Broadway, which is where 99 passes Granada Highlands. 

7:13 p.m.: Here's the full text of the Reverse 911 call sent out by the City of Malden less than an hour ago:

This is the Malden Police with an Emergency Notification. At approximately 5 p.m., a very serious incident occurred involving a firearm at 500 Broadway in Malden. At this time the Malden Police are fully deployed in a search for the suspects. For your safety, please be vigilant and if possible stay in your homes and lock your doors. If you see anything suspicious, do not hesitate to call 911 and report the activity. We will make every attempt to update residents with more information as it becomes available.

The text was posted on the city's Facebook page.

7:06 p.m.: A woman who would only identify by her first name Jo said she was outside near Granada Highlands and saw police running up the street. 

"They were saying, 'did you see a white kid with a white shirt carrying a gun?'" she said.

When she said no, police said to get in her home and call 911 if she saw such a person. 

Another resident, who declined to be identified, was standing near the scene of one of the arrests with her two school-aged boys. 

She said she heard nine shots while driving her car home. 

Her first thought? "Yikes." 

"I thought, 'where were the kids?'" she said of her sons. "They could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and get hit." 

6:50 p.m.: Granada Highlands resident Soleil Diakabana said he heard several shots while hanging out with a friend only blocks from his home. 

"It didn't sound like firecrackers," he said. "It sounded like gun shots." 

Both he and his friend went out on the apartment's balcony, where they heard further shots, and saw police come up the street and into the Granada Highlands apartment complex. 

Diakabana said he later saw police arrest a man near one of the buildings in the apartment complex, where he was seen wearing what appeared to be body armor. 

"We've never experienced anything like this around here before," he said, noting he was wary of returning to his apartment as police potentially looked for more suspects. 

6:10 p.m.: Route 99 is closed from the junction at Route 1. The intersection of Broadway and Eastern Avenue is also locked down.

6:01 p.m.: Malden Police now reported there were not shots fired at JRM. The initial report of shots fired there was incorrect. This is a very fluid scene and the public should not attempt to enter the area.

6 p.m.: Police believe one of the suspects at large ran into JRM, the trash collection firm , and may have fired shots inside the building, according to police radio transmissions. The public is strongly urged to stay away from the area. The manhunt is ensnarled major traffic arteries in the area, making travel nearly impossible. Seek alternate routes that take a wide path around the area.

5:50 p.m.: There are two suspects in custody, according to police radio transmissions. 

5:40 p.m.: There are unconfirmed reports an officer was shot during at some point during this event. This has not been independently confirmed at this time. Officers searched a Glenmere Road home in connection to the search. They believe a suspect may have entered the building.

5:30 p.m.: Reports over the radio are coming fast and furious, and details are hard to pin down at this point. Everett police are checking out reports a suspect headed their way along Broadway/Route 99. Air support is on its way to the scene. AlertNewEngland reports one suspect is dead. Route 99 may be shut down to help police control the scene.

Public safety Twitter user Rick Nohl reported EMS had one suspect en route to Mass General Hospital in very serious condition.

Original article: Saugus, Malden, state and other area police are in pursuit of robbery suspects near Route 99, according to police radio transmissions. Shots have been fired. At least one of the suspects was caught at Granada Highlands, and may have been wearing body armor.

At least one at-large suspects is believed to be armed and wearing body armor.

Public safety Twitter account AlertNewEngland reported the suspects robbed a Saugus bank and then led officers on a chase down Route 1 South and onto Route 99. A helicopter and K9 unit were all called to assist in the manhunt.

Officers believe there may have been up to four suspects in the getaway vehicle, though that is not confirmed. 

This is a developing story. Malden Patch will update this post as more information becomes available.

JOE INGALA March 23, 2012 at 11:01 PM
DOES ANYONE KNOW IF RT 99 IN MALDEN IS STILL SHUT DOWN???
Diane Duplissa March 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM
thanks for following this story and posting updates!! since the local news coverage ended @ 6 we're in the dark, with the choppers still hovering overhead it's nice to know someone is covering this for us!
Chris Caesar March 23, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I'm not sure it's completely shut down - it may be around 500 Broadway. I was able to get to the scene with backroads. Sorry :(
Chris Caesar March 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM
We'll be here. :)
Margery Bagley Welch March 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM
There are at least 5 helicopters hovering nearby. This is a little to close to home.
AnnieOMalden March 24, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Here's an idea...how about if everyone turns on their property lights so it's easier for the police to see the area? No dark spots for anyone to sneak through without being observed. One backyard at a time until a criminal is out of the neighborhood and on their way.
Margery Bagley Welch March 24, 2012 at 01:13 AM
An excellent idea!
Jay S March 24, 2012 at 01:38 AM
No they don't, I can see from Broadway all the way to the other end and I see my lights, leftover Xmas lights, and street lights. I think it's over, I saw a Cataldo ambulance go up Broadway and the SP air wing left. I heard the firefight that started it all at around 5:00. Less than 400 feet from my front door.
Hemi March 24, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Toni G...not very credible coming from someone who lives in Malden and spells GRANADA...Grenada!
ForestDale March 24, 2012 at 01:50 AM
How's that vacation going Chris? ;-)
Joe Gray March 24, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Dang choppers still circling overhead. Scaring the chipmunks. Doors tightly locked and lights on for the evening. I tend to believe when the police tell me to be on the watch for dangerous criminals near my home. I'd be a lot more concerned if it weren't for the fact that crime is on the downward spiral in this area, or so we're told. Summer is just warming up around Malden. We'll need those extra cops to start soon to help police these crime free streets....
Chris Caesar March 24, 2012 at 01:58 AM
lol. The story broke just as my weekend shift began! This job keeps you on your toes like that :)
Billy Roderick March 24, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Scary night in Malden continues. Ward 8 residents should remain vigilant. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those effected.
S. Nickety March 24, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Looks like at least 2 of the 3 identified so far were serious bad guys. A quick google search turned up an article about Megna stabbing and killing someone in 1987 and articles about charges against Eksala for drugs and assault and battery on a police officer charges last year, stabbing 3 men outside a bar in 2005, and robbing a bank in Milton in 1995.
Michael Genzale March 24, 2012 at 09:17 AM
Followers tell me they are up route 1. I still hear a chopper in the distance as of right now. Maybe coming from that direction.
Michael Genzale March 24, 2012 at 09:20 AM
Bill call soon.
NJM29 March 24, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Hell of a night big ups to the mpd, spd and msp thank u for keeping us safe while subjecting ur life
Matthew March 24, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Great job to all the officers from all of the departments involved. Lets not forget though, the other emergency personel that had to respond there also. Great job by everyone.
Dave Gray March 24, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Yes, well done to all. At some point someone is sure to ask "Whose bullet killed Eekasala?". Who cares? Not only should they not release that, if they know, but if they don't know, then don't bother to find out. I don't need to know, and neither does whoever fired the shot. It's a big deal taking another life, even if it is a scumbag's. At least not knowing would mean he could say to himself "Maybe it wasn't me." Easier to deal with that way. In any case, whoever it was, you did the right thing, and you have no reason to feel bad about it.
Kassandra March 25, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Thanks to all including Chris here at the Patch.
Chris Caesar March 26, 2012 at 07:02 AM
Thank you for reading!
Matthew March 26, 2012 at 07:04 AM
Welcome back Chris.
Chris Caesar March 26, 2012 at 07:08 AM
Thanks Greg! Believe it or not I'm glad to be back, though it was certainly a jolting end to my vacation Friday night.
Matthew March 26, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Yeah not a good situation. But the officers did a great job. Was a very chilling incident to listen to. I've been listening to a scanner just about all my life and incidents like those never get any easier to listen to. Thank god all the officers came home safe.
Chris Caesar March 26, 2012 at 07:28 AM
They did. I saw some mentions of a bank robbery/police chase making it's way to Malden on Twitter, and turned my police scanner on right in the thick of the shoot-out. I was scared to death just listening to it.
Matthew March 26, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Hey maybe at some point you can explain to these people the defenition of mutual aide in the public safety field? That might put the few people here that seem to be appalled by the fact that we had outside departments in the city helping out, at ease? I can't believe the negative comments that were on here relating to the fact that they were mad because they saw Everett and Somerville cruisers in the city. FYI, there were alot more police departments in the city helping out that day other than Everett and Somerville. All of which did a great job.
Susan March 26, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I saw Pepperill too.
Kristin July 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Why is this popping up on the feed today??

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