Husband dead, wife injured in West Tisbury shooting

— Photo by Ralph Stewart

Updated 11 am, March 26

A violent struggle over a handgun between an estranged West Tisbury couple, in the house they owned at 19 Skiff’s Lane, ended early Friday morning with the husband dead and the wife wounded.

Kenneth Bloomquist, 64, died at the scene. His wife, Cynthia Bloomquist, 63, was transported by ambulance to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Ms. Bloomquist was rushed into surgery.

Ms. Bloomquist was shot in the torso. She is recovering from her wounds, her lawyer Sean E. Murphy said in a press release issued Monday.

The couple was separated, police said. Cynthia Bloomquist lived in the two-bedroom house, just off Old County Road.

At 7:48 am, West Tisbury police received a report of a man pointing a gun at a woman at 19 Skiff’s lane, police said in a press release. West Tisbury requested that the Island’s Tactical Response Team also respond.

“While in route to the scene, the police department was advised that the female was shot and that the man was dying,” the press release said. “Dispatch then advised that both parties had been shot. Two ambulances were called to the scene.

“A team of four officers went into the house and found the parties upstairs in the residence. The woman was transported to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound, and the male died at the scene.”

Mr. Bloomquist cut the telephone wire to the house and broke in the door. He was armed with a shotgun and a pistol, according to Mr. Murphy. “After Cynthia Bloomquist was shot with the shotgun, Mr. Bloomquist then produced a handgun and attempted to shoot Cynthia Bloomquist with the handgun,” Mr. Murphy said. “During a violent struggle for the handgun, the gun discharged, hitting Mr. Bloomquist.”

Mr. Murphy said that an earlier report that Ms. Bloomquist had a pistol was incorrect. “Cynthia Bloomquist did not have any firearms in the home,” he said.

Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe told the Boston Globe that Cynthia Bloomquist was able to make a phone call to 911 on her cellphone. In a brief telephone conversation with The Times Friday, asked about a Globe report that Ms. Bloomquist had a handgun, Mr. O’Keefe said, “She had access to a small-caliber pistol.”

Police blocked the intersection of Old County Road and State Road, following reports of the shooting.

State Police crime scene investigators will assist with the investigation.

Longtime seasonal residents from Harvard, Massachusetts, the retired couple owned a Cessna 182-R airplane and traveled frequently to the Vineyard. Ms. Bloomquist was a retired MIT administrator, Mr. Bloomquist a retired businessman.

The couple sold the home they owned on South Shaker Road in Harvard on October 25, 2011 for $520,000, according to assessor’s records.


11 am, March 26

This story was modified to correct an earlier report that Mr. Bloomquist shot his wife in the leg and she returned fire with a pistol, killing him.