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Lowell officer cleared in fatal shooting
DA says slaying was 'justifiable'
January 6, 2005

A Lowell police officer's fatal shooting of a 19-year-old college student last month at the young man's home in Lowell was a ''justifiable homicide," officials said yesterday in releasing results of an investigation by the Middlesex district attorney's office and State Police.

Officer Mark LeBlanc shot Andrew Clancy, a sophomore at Trinity College in Hartford, shortly after midnight on Christmas when the officer responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the man's Christian Hill home.

Prosecutors said Clancy charged at LeBlanc, brandishing a hatchet and a knife.

LeBlanc, the first officer on the scene, attempted to retreat, prosecutors said, but Clancy continued to come at him with his weapons raised. The officer suffered a ''slight head wound" from Clancy's knife, they added, and then he fired his weapon twice, felling Clancy, who was pronounced dead at Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell.

''We believe that Officer Mark LeBlanc acted appropriately and used a level of force necessary to protect his own health and safety," District Attorney Martha Coakley said in a statement. ''Although we believe this was a tragic incident for the Clancy family, the officer's action, in light of the immediate and lethal risk, was entirely appropriate."

Relatives at Clancy's home did not return messages last night.
 
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