Victim’s family shocked, mystified by shooting

By Emily Sweeney
Globe Staff / July 14, 2011

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ROCKLAND - The steps leading up to the front door of 50 Concord St. are adorned with candles - tea lights, jar candles, and glass cylinders emblazoned with St. Jude - all left in memory of Tina C. Gonsalves, the 37-year-old single mother who was killed there last week.

Some had small flickering flames; others had melted, leaving swirls of red, white, pink, and peach-colored wax in a hardened puddle on the cement. Vases of lilies and roses sat on the steps, alongside a purple teddy bear.

The makeshift memorial on this quiet suburban street is the only visible sign of the fatal shootout that took place in Gonsalves’ apartment. Meanwhile, the victim’s relatives and neighbors are left with many questions about what happened.

Authorities have charged Orlando Harrington Kavanaugh, a 28-year-old Boston man, with murder.

Kavanaugh was arraigned Tuesday at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he is being treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, armed home invasion, armed assault with intent to murder, and other firearms-related charges, according to the office of Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz.

According to the district attorney’s office, Rockland police received a 911 call from residents at 50 Concord St. around 7:40 a.m. Friday, reporting that an armed intruder had broken a window in back of the house, reached in, and unlocked the door, and entered the first-floor apartment.

Gonsalves was struck by a bullet as she struggled with the gunman while trying to protect her family. She was taken to South Shore Hospital and died that afternoon.

The district attorney’s office said that during the attack, a resident in the apartment, whom they did not identify, pulled out his own gun and shot Kavanaugh in the shoulder. Kavanaugh then fled from the scene in a pickup truck.

Investigators do not believe the home invasion was a random incident, said Bridget Norton Middleton, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. While the rattled community absorbed the news of Kavanaugh’s arrest in the hospital, family and friends are mourning the loss of Gonsalves.

Visiting hours will be held Friday, July 15 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home, at 135 Union St. in Rockland. A funeral Mass will be said at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 16 at Holy Family Church, at 403 Union St. in Rockland.

On Monday, the victim’s mother, Judith M. Gonsalves of Marshfield, stood on the steps of her daughter’s home and wiped tears from her face.

“It was a needless, needless act,’’ said Gonsalves. “She was such a good girl - a lovable, lovable girl.’’

Last summer, The Patriot Ledger reported that two of Gonsalves’ sons were arrested on armed robbery charges related to an alleged drug deal, and there was a report of a possible break-in at the apartment in February.

Family members said Gonsalves was a devoted, hard-working mother with four children: Aaron, Todd, Alanna, and Dasia. She had worked as an analyst at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Hingham for over a decade, they said.

Family members said she loved to cook and was involved in youth sports programs. In her spare time, she enjoyed riding motorcycles and was a member of the “No Love Crew’’ riding group. She was a 1993 graduate of Plymouth North High School. This is the first homicide in Rockland since January 2010, according to Rockland Police Lieutenant Nicholas Zeoli. Zeoli said police had been called to 50 Concord St. in the past, “but I wouldn’t classify it as a trouble spot.’’

Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.