BROCKTON, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) – Police are investigating two fatal attacks that happened over a period of 24 hours in Brockton.
Police responded to reports of the first attack at about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday on Clinton Street. The victim, identified as 74-year-old Lee Harmon, was found with what the Plymouth District Attorney's Office described as "massive head wounds" and a gash to the lower right arm. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A FOX 25 photographer on the scene said there was a large pool of blood in the middle of the street and a hammer in the road. A bike was also on the ground.
Witnesses told investigators they heard a crash and commotion, followed by breaking glass and a verbal confrontation.
One person told FOX 25 he tried to help Harmon after the brutal attack.
"I yelled, 'Call 911, this guy's gonna die,' and I just kept telling him, like, kept trying to talk to him to make sure he was alright," the man said. "And he couldn't talk. He probably didn't understand me, but it really didn't matter. All that mattered was he knew somebody was there."
Investigators announced during a press conference Wednesday afternoon that they are looking for a black male who was wearing a hoodie, shorts, and sneakers at the time of the murder.
FOX 25's Catherine Parrotta spoke to Harmon's daughter, who was very emotional, as well as a family friend. They confirmed Harmon was a pastor who worked at a Pentecostal church in Boston. They said he collected cans as a hobby and would often give the money to the homeless. The family members said they couldn't imagine why someone would want to hurt Harmon and called for anyone with information to come forward.
The second attack happened about 14 hours later on Bellevue Avenue. Investigators say the suspect, who was armed with a large knife, broke into the victim's home and stabbed him at about 11 a.m. The victim, 40-year-old man, later died.
Police allege the unidentified suspect then broke into a relative's home, stole jewelry and a car, and led police on a chase to a wooded area in Abington where they were shot by police. The suspect's condition was not released Wednesday night.
During Wednesday's press conference, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said residents of Brockton should not be in fear.
Brockton Mayor Linda M. Balzotti asked anyone with information regarding the attacks to contact police, reminding any potential witness that they can remain anonymous. She also expressed her frustration in the recent spike in crime, calling it "the most maddening, frustrating situation in the world."
Brockton police and the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office are investigating. They say they do not believe the two murders are connected and the suspect and victim in the Wednesday attack may have known each other prior to the stabbing.
Anyone with information is urged to contact investigators at (508) 941-0234.