Operator once owned gun shop; woman identified

A pedestrian, a 77-year-old Boston woman who may have been homeless and was using a walker, was struck and killed in a Mass. Ave. crosswalk at Orvis Road about 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19.

The operator of the vehicle involved, Paul F. Giragosian, 67, of Arlington, was cited at the scene by Arlington police on charges of operating without a license and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Police identified the woman as Elba Ortiz-Delgado. She was transported by Arlington Fire/Rescue to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

The last fatal pedestrian accident in Arlington was in April 2002 in the area of Mass. Ave. and Brattle Street, police said.

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Word on the Street:
Crosswalk slated for safety improvements

The town's Transportation Advisory Committee lists as the first item on its historical summary about the Mass. Ave. Corridor project two pedestrian fatalities on Mass. Ave. in East Arlington in 1996.

Police said the driver is the former owner of a gun shop, which was once at 10 Park Ave. Police ordered it closed in 2007 after a man committed suicide at the shop earlier that year, the second such case at the shop.

The current matter remains under investigation and additional charges may follow.

Chief calls incident heartbreaking

"This is a heartbreaking experience for the victim’s loved ones and for the community," Police Chief Frederick Ryan said in a news release.

"An Arlington police officer happened upon the crash scene while on patrol and he, along with other Arlington first responders, went to extraordinary measures to save the woman."

Boston.com Dec. 20, citing police, reported the woman was using a walker to cross Mass. Ave. at Orvis near the Capitol Theatre when the accident happened. The says she is believed to be homeless.

Boston.com reported that Maureen Stephens said she spoke with the driver and his wife right after the crash and that they were distraught over what had just happened.

Stephens said the Giragosians told her they did not see the woman crossing the street, Boston.com reported.

Stephens said she learned that the Giragosians were returning home from the Burlington Mall where they had done some Christmas shopping.

Without citing a source, Channel 7 reported the driver stopped at the scene. See video here >>

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and an officer from the State Police crash-reconstruction unit are assisting Arlington investigators.

The PSMG Gun Shop on Park Avenue opened in 1976, Boston Globe news stories show.

The shop first drew scrutiny on Dec. 13, 2002, when Chris Chao, 28, of Arlington, committed suicide in the shop's basement. The Globe reported that Giragosian said he believed Chao, who had received firearm training from him, had received his license to carry a firearm. Chao had not.

Unnown to Giragosian, Chao had been granted a firearm license on Nov. 2, 2001, but Arlington police had revoked it a day later, after his parents reported to police that their son was suicidal, according to a police report cited by The Globe.

Then, on Jan. 24, 2007, Peter Hartzel, a newspaper reporter who lived in Arlington, shot himself in the head while Giragosian was standing to his left during the last day of a three-day firearm training.

Hartzel died and Giragosian's head was strafed by the bullet. Police told The Globe that Giragosian should have been standing behind Hartzel, not next to him.

This story was first published at 7:42 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, and updated at 9:40 a.m. and thereafter.