BREAKING: Man Found in Front of Church in Harvard Yard After Shooting Himself

Karen G. Heredia

Police investigate the scene of a fatal shooting on the steps of Memorial Church on Saturday.

UPDATED 3:33 p.m.

An unidentified man was found on the top step of Memorial Church in Tercentenary Theatre this morning after fatally shooting himself.

"A man suffered a self-inflicted gun shot wound in the Yard," a University spokesperson confirmed. "There is no ongoing threat to the campus."



Cambridge Fire and Rescue pronounced the individual deceased, according to a community advisory issued by the Harvard University Police Department. An individual with close knowledge of the incident said that it appeared that he is not affiliated with Harvard University.

"At this time, we believe this is an isolated incident and there is no continuing safety threat to the community," said HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano, who could not provide further details or comment at the time.

Middlesex District Attorney's office spokesperson Jessica Venezia Pastore said that the death "does not appear suspicious nor does it involve foul play." For that reason, she declined to comment on what type of gun was used, citing department policy not to release details on incidents that do not appear to involve criminal activity.

Local and state police and the Middlesex District Attorney’s office are helping HUPD investigate the incident, according to a statement from the Cambridge Police Department.

At the time of the shooting, a tour group posing for a photo had been standing on the steps of Memorial Church facing Tercentenary Theatre. While they were standing on the steps, the man shot himself and the people on the steps took off running across the grass, said Jorge A. Araya '14, who had been walking by Emerson Hall at the time.

Katherine C. Mentzinger '14, a resident of Thayer Hall, said that she saw the body from her friend’s room in the dorm and heard one gunshot.