Damian Anderson, 45, of New Bedford succumbed to his injuries after being shot multiple times on Monday night, July 20, in the Collins Lane area of Mashpee.
On Wednesday, July 22, Norman J. Dias, 32, was arraigned in Falmouth District Court on a single count for the murder of Mr. Anderson, according to Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe.
Judge Edward F.X. Lynch ordered Mr. Dias held without bail. The defendant is scheduled to return for a probable cause hearing on August 20.
According to statements by the district attorney and Mashpee Police Chief Scott W. Carline, Mashpee police responded at approximately 11:30 PM on Monday to reports of shots fired in the vicinity of Collins Lane in Mashpee, near Mashpee Community Park.
Upon their arrival, Mr. O’Keefe said police observed Mr. Anderson lying in the middle of Collins Lane. He had been shot multiple times. Mashpee Fire/Rescue personnel administered first aid to Mr. Anderson and then transported him to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where he died of his injuries.
Police found Mr. Dias hiding in the woods adjacent to Collins Lane, according to Mr. O’Keefe. They took him into custody, questioned him and then released him.
As the investigation continued, the district attorney said probable cause was established for a warrant to arrest Mr. Dias.
At approximately 7 PM on Tuesday, July 21, police found Mr. Dias in Boston and arrested him.
On Wednesday, the court sealed the “Commonwealth versus Norman J. Dias” case file with an affidavit from Anthony Chatigny, a Massachusetts State Trooper assigned to the Cape & Islands State Police Detective Unit.
“Public disclosure of the facts contained herein will compromise the above investigations as well as compromise the safety of witnesses and those parties who may be cooperating with the investigation,” Trooper Chatigny’s affidavit stated.
Also on the same day, the court held Mr. Dias on $500 bail on two charges from March 30: assault and battery of a family member and witness intimidation of a family member.
At this time, Mr. Dias’s mother was the legal guardian of the family member in question, and a no-trespass order was in effect at the mother’s house toward Mr. Dias. According to court records, Mr. Dias’s mother had allowed him to stay there at the time because he was suffering from a leg injury and was on crutches.
The $500 bail was moot because Mr. Dias was being held without bail on the murder charge.
Amid the investigation into Mr. Anderson’s murder, friends and family have been mourning him.
Social media was teeming with loving words, appreciation and sadness from those who knew Mr. Anderson.
David (D.J.) Frye of Falmouth met Mr. Anderson in 7th grade, and the two were friends who played on the basketball team in junior high and the football team in high school.
“We went on our own paths but still bumped into one another from time to time, and it was like we never left one another. Everyone loved and respected Damian. I never ever met a person that had a bad thing to say about him,” Mr. Frye said.
Mr. Frye’s wife, Alicia, said Damian was an amazing person who would give anyone the shirt off his back.
“Everyone that knew him loved him. It didn’t matter if they were young or old he could relate to everyone. My daughter, who’s 23, recently lost her dad, and he reached out to her and shared some words of advice, and that meant the world to me. He looked out for everyone and definitely did not deserve to be murdered,” she said. “He was usually the loudest one of the bunch and the life of the party but never mean or disrespectful. His kind spirit and fun personality will be missed by so many.”
Another close friend and distant cousin of Mr. Anderson is Michael Basey of Falmouth, who referred to him as “day day.” Mr. Basey and Mr. Anderson looked so much alike when they were growing up that they would often get mistaken for the other, Mr. Basey said.
“Day day was always clowning! We had some fun basketball battles back in the day. He loved his family and his Cape Verdean roots...he will truly be missed by all,” Mr. Basey said.
Seton Murphy also grew up with Mr. Anderson and had lost touch with him over the years but never lost his appreciation for and admiration of Mr. Anderson.
“Dame was one of the nicest guys I knew growing up. He protected me from bullies. He had a heart of gold, and I am very saddened by his death. I pray for his family and close friends,” he said.
Cedric Cromwell, the chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also made a statement about Mr. Anderson, who was not a tribal member.
“We lost a wonderful man in a tragic incident this week. He was extremely close to many of our tribal members and has left our community in mourning. It’s times like these that family and friends of Damian may lean on our Tribal Nation for support. We will be here to lift up those that are grieving while we try and make sense of a life lost,” Mr. Cromwell said.