DA: Young woman charged, held without bail in Bedford shooting that left her mother, father dead

BEDFORD, Mass. — A young woman is facing charges in connection with a double shooting in Bedford on Thursday morning that left her mother and father dead, authorities said.

Jessica Cavallaro, 24, of Bedford, was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Concord District Court on charges including murder, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. She was held without bail and the judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation.

Officers received a 911 call around 9 a.m. from a resident on Washington Street who reported that a young woman who lives in the home had just admitted she had shot her parents, Ryan said during a late-morning news conference.

That caller then went outside and found two people suffering from gunshots in a car parked on an adjacent lawn, according to Ryan.

Cavallaro’s 56-year-old mother, Thelma Tatten, was pronounced dead at the scene, while her 56-year-old father, Mark Cavallaro, was rushed to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he later died, according to Ryan. A handgun was also recovered at the scene.

Cavallaro was identified as the suspected shooter and taken into custody by police without incident.

Cavallaro is the “significant other” of a resident who lives at the home where the 911 call originated but she resides at a different address on Washington Street, according to Ryan.

Cavallaro’s parents lived in a different part of Bedford and it wasn’t immediately clear why they were in the neighborhood, Ryan noted.

Bedford Police Chief John Fisher warned residents to avoid the area due to the heavy police and road closures.

“It’s a really tight knit community, very, very small, so it’s just mind-blowing to everybody I’m pretty sure obviously devastating, but just really out of character very, very unexpected,” said a young woman who went to Bedford High School with Jessica Cavallaro.

She couldn’t believe Jessica was arrested Thursday for shooting and killing her parents.

“Very, very quiet, very to herself very, very sweet girl, I mean she’s the absolute last person I think anybody would ever expect to do something like this, so it’s just very devastating for everybody involved,” said the former classmate.

Many neighbors expressed shock at the killings. But not Pete Burke.

“I actually was at Dunkin’ Donuts and I saw two police officers that walked in and then they turned around and ran off,” said Pete Burke. “I had a feeling they were coming to the scene. I’m not shocked by anything that happens in the world But you know it’s certainly not something I would have expected when I went to work this morning.”

Burke said he knows the neighborhood well from his painting business and the fact he and his kids ride bicycles through its tree-lined streets.

Other neighbors said what neighbors often say after a tragic event in their midst: not here.

“This is a very safe neighborhood,” said one. “And it was shocking to hear something like this. I just think this is something out of the blue, crazy and not something that happens here.”

State police detectives assigned to Ryan’s office are assisting Bedford police with an investigation.

“Many of the incidents we’ve had in the last few weeks, last couple months have involved firearms in the hands of people who should not have had them,” said Marian Ryan, Middlesex County District Attorney.

Cavallaro will be back in court on August 20.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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