East Boston Man Arraigned On Carjacking, Assault With A Dangerous Weapon Charges

For Immediate Release March 26, 2012
Contact: Press Office

MALDEN– An East Boston man has been arraigned on charges in connection with a carjacking and fatal police-involved shooting that took place in Malden on Friday, March 23, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today.

Gabriel Megna, 48, of East Boston, was arraigned today in Malden District Court on charges of armed carjacking, assault with a dangerous weapon and receiving a stolen motor vehicle.  Malden District Court Judge Antoinette Leoney ordered the defendant held on one million dollars cash bail.

His next court date is May 11 for a probable cause hearing. 

According to authorities, at approximately 4:48 pm, Saugus Police received 911 calls reporting an armed bank robbery in progress at the Saugusbank located at 412 Lynn Fells Parkway in Saugus.  Two known suspects are alleged to have fled the scene in a stolen motor vehicle driven by the defendant Megna.  The three suspects then drove to a parking lot on Broadway in Malden, where they exited the stolen vehicle and attempted to flee that area.  Authorities allege that Megna and one of the suspects, William Ekasala, 35, of East Boston,  after exiting the stolen vehicle, carjacked a separate motor vehicle occupied by a female driver and her infant child.  Unable to drive the carjacked vehicle away, Megna allegedly fled on foot to a nearby building located at 500 Broadway in Malden, where he was later located and arrested.  As he ran from the scene, Ekasala shot at responding police officers from the Malden Police Department while he continued to flee.  Responding Officers and Ekasala then exchanged gunfire, and Ekasala was struck during the exchange.  He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.

The third suspect, Michael Ginnetti, 38, of Winthrop, who had fled the stolen car in a different direction than Megna and Ekasala, was arrested by responding police officers nearby, on charges in connection with the alleged armed bank robbery in Saugus, and will be prosecuted by the Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s Office.

The legal justifiability of the police involved shooting will be investigated by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, per protocol.  

Agencies involved in the investigation are the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, the Saugus and Malden Police Departments, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Bank Robbery Task Force.

These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney John Verner, Chief of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s PACT Unit.

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