ORANGE, Mass. (WWLP) – Students in the eastern Franklin County town of Orange were told to shelter-in-place during the morning and early afternoon Thursday, due to a deadly home invasion in town Wednesday night.
Mary Carey of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office told 22News an elderly man was killed and his elderly wife was seriously injured during a home invasion at 581 East River Street. She said the woman was taken to UMass Medical Center in Worcester for treatment; her condition is unknown at this time.
The Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, State Police Crime Scene Services and Orange Police Department are investigating the home invasion. Carey said the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death of the man.
Orange Police said the investigation started Thursday morning, which is why a shelter-in-place was ordered. “We have no reason to believe this crime has anything to do with the schools or school children. However, for the safety of everyone, the chief has taken this precaution,” read a statement on the department’s official Facebook page.
According to Superintendent of Schools Tari Thomas, the Fisher Hill, Dexter Park, and Ralph C. Mahar Regional Schools were all secured as a precaution. The shelter-in-place order was lifted Thursday afternoon.
Neighbors told 22News this kind of violence is unheard of in this town. “I’m just blown away something happened at our own back door,” says Arthur Roberts, who lives nearby. “It’s very peaceful, very quite, and I keep thinking ‘This can’t be true’… but what are you going to do. It is what it is.” He went on to describe the area as a tight knit community where “we all watch each other’s back around here.”
Our 22News crew could see police tape set up around some homes on East River Street in Orange, across the street from the Orange Airport. Police blocked-off that section of roadway to traffic.
Police are still searching for a suspect. They didn’t give a description of that person.
Neighbors say this is usually a quiet neighborhood, and many of them are still in disbelief.
Arthur Roberts of Orange said, “It’s very peaceful, very quite, and I keep thinking ‘This can’t be true’… but what are you going to do. It is what it is.”