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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cause for alarm?


Questions surround an incident last week involving the shooting of police officer who was mistaken for a burglar.

The incident occurred last Friday when Mark Ragsdale, a prominent local businessman who owns several auto dealerships throughout Central Massachusetts, accidentally tripped his house alarm early last Friday morning. Police went inside the house to investigate.

Thinking they were intruders, Ragsdale fired a shot that struck Officer Stephen Rice in the abdomen. Rice remains hospitalized in Worcester and in stable condition.

Shrewsbury Police Chief Wayne Sampson said no charges have been filed in the case and it remains under investigation. One question is why officers were not alerted that the alarm had been deactivated by Ragsdale. One concerned resident e-mailed Globe West to ask for the name of the alarm company involved.

Sampson said today that he will not release that information until the investigation is complete.

"It's a critical part of the investigation," Sampson said. "Until I get a report [from investigating officers], we don't want to make any of that public."

--Megan Woolhouse

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