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Ex-boyfriend of missing Massachusetts woman shot dead by police the same day her body is found in Vermont

Vermont State Police said Matthew Davis, 34, was killed after officers tried to "speak" with him during a probe into the disappearance and death of Mary Anderson, 23.

The ex-boyfriend of a missing Massachusetts woman whose body was found in Vermont on Tuesday was fatally shot the same day by police after he was named a "person of interest" in the case.

The body of 23-year-old Mary Anderson of Harvard, Massachusetts, was found in her pickup truck in Brattleboro, Vermont, at around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Vermont State Police said.

Anderson had been reported missing over the weekend and her truck was sought as part of the missing persons investigation, they said. She had last been seen at around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday in Hudson, New Hampshire. 

Following the discovery, police said they were looking to "locate and speak with" Matthew Davis, 34, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. They said Davis was Anderson's former boyfriend and that he "may have information relevant" to the investigation.

Mary Anderson, 23, missing Harvard woman who was found dead in Vermont on July 19, 2022.
Mary Anderson, 23, missing Harvard woman who was found dead in Vermont on July 19, 2022.City of Harvard Police

Vermont State Police said one of its detectives was conducting a neighborhood canvass later on Tuesday at around 7:45 p.m. when he recognized a person fitting Davis' description.

Officers with the Vermont State Police and Brattleboro Police Department "rapidly responded to the area and were on scene at the time of the fatal police shooting," the department said.

It is unclear what exactly led up to the shooting, but Vermont State Police said Davis was hit "during an attempt to speak" with him.

The department said two troopers and a Brattleboro police officer had fired their weapons in the course of the encounter with Davis, who had been armed with a knife. The department added that detectives with the Massachusetts State Police also were in the area.

The Brattleboro Police Department and Massachusetts State Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.

"Police rendered first aid to Davis following the shooting and called for EMS personnel to respond, but he was pronounced dead on the scene," state police said, adding that the knife was located near Davis' body.

No other injuries were reported in connection with the incident.

The Vermont State Police said it was continuing an investigation early Wednesday morning into the shooting.

Matthew Davis was shot and killed by police in Brattleboro, Vt., on Tuesday.
Matthew Davis was shot and killed by police in Brattleboro, Vt., on Tuesday. NBC Boston

It said Davis' body would be transported to the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to confirm the cause and manner of his death.

The identities of the officers who fired their weapons are expected to be released on Wednesday, "a day after the shooting," state police said.

The state troopers will be placed on paid administrative leave for a minimum of five days, it said.

"When the Vermont State Police investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the relevant State’s Attorney’s Office for independent reviews of the police use of deadly force," the department said.

Anderson's body was also to be transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death, and make positive identification, state police said.

The autopsy is expected to take place Wednesday, they said, as the investigation into her death continues.