City orders review of deadly Taunton rampage

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Just about a month after a violent rampage ended with the deaths of three people, Taunton’s mayor Thursday announced the city has commissioned an independent administrative review of the incident.

“The chaotic and tragic events of May 10 certainly warrant a thorough and independent review,” Mayor Thomas C. Hoye, Jr. said. “The City of Taunton prides itself on a quick and efficient public safety response, and we want to improve upon this process whenever possible.”

Police say 28-year-old Arthur DaRosa went on a spree May 10, first fatally stabbing Patricia Slavin, 80, and injuring her daughter, Kathleen, then driving into the Macy’s at the Silver City Galleria mall, where he assaulted several people, and then stabbed a pregnant Bertucci’s waitress and killed a man who tried to intervene. DaRosa was eventually shot and killed by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.

TIMELINE: How the Taunton stabbings unfolded

Shortly after the incident, Target 12 reviewed the 911 calls and discovered there was a 20-minute delay before first responders found the first two stabbing victims in their Myricks Street home.

At the time, Lt. Kevin Farrar told Target 12 an influx of information from both the Myricks Street scene and the scene at the mall created some confusion, which led to the delay.

Patricia and Kathleen Slavin
Patricia and Kathleen Slavin

The mayor’s office said the city signed a contract with Ryan Strategies Group LLC (RSG) and a team led by Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan to conduct the review, which will look closely at Taunton’s 911 system, its dispatch center, and its emergency medical dispatch procedures.

RSG has also brought in Paula Snow to conduct a complete reconstruction and timeline of the 911 calls and dispatch operations from May 10. Snow is currently the chief operating officer for the Emergency Communications Department in Cambridge and, according to the mayor’s office, is one of the state’s foremost experts in emergency telecommunications.

“The events of May 10 were tragic and resulted in the loss of life in our community,” Fire Chief Timothy Bradshaw said. “I feel that this review and report will help the Taunton Fire Department and the City of Taunton will come out of this process stronger and better prepared for a critical incident.”

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