DA's office issues official release regarding Lancaster shooting investigation

From the Office of the District Attorney, Cape & Islands District

August 17, 2007

massachusetts_state_sealRE: Investigation into the shooting death of Patrick Lancaster
Contact: Michael Trudeau, First Assistant District Attorney, Michael O'Keefe, District Attorney

Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe announced today that the evidence would suggest the following:

Dr. Gryboski (age 51, 5'3", 125 lbs.) was the recipient of both psychological and physical abuse by her husband for over 20 years. In the early years of this abuse, he threatened her with harm to herself and their children as well as any police who might respond were she to call police. She presented in the workplace with black eyes and other facial bruises which she excused by saying she was playing basketball with her sons. After one beating in 1999, she told one co-worker, a nurse, that she had been beaten by her husband, (Patrick Lancaster, 5'6", 170 lbs., age 50). That nurse told another nurse who said that until Dr. Gryboski formed her own plan to leave in safety for herself and her family, she felt as if she could not say anything as it would only further endanger the doctor and her family.

A witness indicated that she was a neighbor of Dr. Gryboski and her husband in 1991 in Bedford, MA. The witness received a visit from Mr. Lancaster after the witness' husband had been arrested for domestic abuse. Mr. Lancaster asked the witness why she had her husband arrested. She told him because he was abusive to me. Mr. Lancaster replied, "every woman needs to be beaten, just ask Ann."

On the Saturday before Easter Sunday, Dr. Gryboski was caring for her 2-year-old grandson while her son and his fiancé spent some time at a hotel on the Cape. They all met for dinner at a restaurant in Yarmouth. Dr. Gryboski, her husband and the child left the restaurant in one car, leaving her son and his fiancé there to finish their meal. Dr. Gryboski was driving, her husband was in the passenger seat and the 2-year-old was in the back seat. Shortly after leaving the parking lot, the husband punched her in the face as she was driving, complaining that she didn't leave the restaurant fast enough.

He then ordered her to put her hand down which she was holding near her face to protect herself. When she lowered her hand, he hit her again. He continued to do that several more times.

Medical records from the Cape Cod Hospital indicate head and facial trauma on the right side and a chipped left upper incisor, with a mild corneal abrasion. The hospital also found evidence of a previous nasal injury with deviation of the nasal septum.

There were several guns in the house as her husband was a hunter. Dr. Gryboski bought a gun for herself in 1999 and was licensed by the Town of Barnstable.

When she returned home that night from the restaurant, she took the baby and herself into a back bedroom and stayed there for the night. Her son and his fiancé came by to pick up an Easter basket for an Easter egg hunt that they were to attend on Sunday morning. The son was met at the door by the father who handed him the basket at the door saying, 'Your mother doesn't want you to come in.' The son left and on his way to the hotel called his mother's cell phone to see if she was all right. She said she was and would see him as planned at a restaurant for breakfast before the Easter egg hunt.

The next morning, the husband instructed Dr. Gryboski in what to say to the couple who invited them to the Easter egg hunt to explain her injuries. He was dissatisfied with her statement and threw a tape measure at her. Her son then tried to intervene and was told by his father as he advanced on him that he would slit his throat. As the son began to back into the kitchen, Dr. Gryboski took her gun from her purse which was on the floor. She told her husband to stop. He taunted her and began to move toward her saying, "You're so dead, you don't know what you started." She fired once, he continued to advance, she fired again, striking him twice in the torso. She went to him, cradled his body and said, "I didn't want it to end like this, I hope you find peace."

When the confrontation began, the mother of the child who had returned with Dr. Gryboski's son to pick up the baby, ran with the baby into a back bedroom and locked the door. She heard the various statements made and upon hearing the shots went out a bedroom window with her baby. She returned to the driveway area as police began to arrive, having been called by Dr. Gryboski.

Dr. Gryboski was arrested and charged with the crime of murder. After the investigation was completed, the matter was taken up by the Barnstable County Grand Jury. The Grand Jury heard evidence on July 31st, August 10th and 17th, 2007.

After considering the testimony of twenty-seven (27) witnesses, the Grand Jury returned a no bill ending the prosecution of Dr. Gryboski. District Attorney O'Keefe said, "This is a finding by the Grand Jury consistent with the evidence in this particular case."

Visit the Cape & Islands District Attorney's official website here or email here. 

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