Murder investigation underway at Dartmouth hotel following shooting death

Dec 23, 2018

A Fall River man is dead and a murder investigation is ongoing following a shooting outside a Dartmouth hotel three days before Christmas.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Dartmouth police and first responders rushed to the Regency Inn and Suites on Faunce Corner Road at around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 22 after receiving a 911 call about a shooting victim.

Once on scene, first responders found Joseph Tavares, 37, unresponsive inside a car in the hotel’s rear parking lot.

Tavares, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

A hotel guest alerted the hotel’s night manager about an incident in the parking lot, after the guest reported hearing loud thuds and breaking glass.

The manager discovered the scene in the parking lot, and called 911.

The hotel manager, visibly distraught, could not comment on the incident, and directed all questions to the hotel’s owner.

The news of a shooting appeared to be a surprise to some of the hotel’s guests.

One man, who had arrived back at the hotel for the night at 4 a.m. Sunday morning, had no idea what had happened the previous night.

Other guests, aware of what had happened the previous night, were quick to leave early Sunday morning.

Few details about the case have been released thus far. It is unclear if the victim was a hotel guest.

On Sunday morning, the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office released its first statement on the shooting, describing the investigation as “in its early stages and remains extremely active and ongoing at this time.”

Spokesperson Gregg Miliote said no further information about the case is being released at this time.

This is the first homicide in Dartmouth since July 2006, when Ryan T. Jones, a New Bedford resident and dishwasher at the now closed Old Country Buffet, murdered his manager, Valerie Oransky.

“We do a lot of death investigations in Dartmouth, but they’re usually overdoses or natural causes,” said Detective Kyle Costa of the Dartmouth Police Department. “So we don’t have a lot of homicides.”

Costa described the investigation as “active and ongoing” as of Wednesday morning, Dartmouth Week’s print deadline.

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