A buddy of Mark Wahlberg‘s who had a kid with the Boston mayor’s girlfriend has been shot dead by police after lunging at them with “multiple knives.” Paul J. Campbell, 49, died early on the morning of January 19 after a confrontation at the Weymouth, Massachusetts, home he shared with his mother. After the shooting, police made a gruesome discovery on the steps of the house.
In addition to his longtime friendship with Wahlberg and his acting roles in movies such as The Fighter and Ted, Campbell was known for his connection to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Campbell’s 22-year-old daughter is the child of Lorrie Higgins, Walsh’s longtime live-in girlfriend.
Here’s what you need to know about Campbell and his tragic demise:
1. His Mother Was Found Dead of Stab Wounds Just Outside the Home
Cops responded around 1 a.m. January 19 to Campbell’s home at 69 Prospect Hill Drive in Weymouth, Massachusetts. They were met by an “agitated” Campbell, who cops say lunged at the officers while wielding knives. The Associated Press reports that cops opened fire on Campbell, who later died at a hospital. On the outdoor steps of the home, Paul’s mother, 72-year-old Patricia Campbell, was found dead of stab wounds.
Police have not said who made the initial 911 call. Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey told the media how the incident unfolded:
When the officers got there, they were confronted by a white male who was kind of agitated, who gave the officers some great pause. We’re still investigating this matter, but the individual appeared to be armed with a couple of knives and he came at the police officers.
2. He Was a Childhood Friend of Wahlberg’s With a ‘Rap Sheet of Low Level Crimes’
In a 2014 feature story about Boston’s “First Girlfriend” Lorrie Higgins and her relationship to the city’s new mayor, The Boston Globe reported that Campbell — Higgins’ ex and the father of her child — was a childhood friend of Mark Wahlberg’s. The paper described Campbell as a “dark-haired rowdy who gradually built up a rap sheet of low-level crimes” and served nine months behind bars. A high school friend of Higgins’ told the Globe that Campbell “was kind of the bad boy and she was the good girl. He was the boy she shouldn’t be hanging out with.”
Despite the Globe’s unflattering characterization of Campbell, others knew him as a kind and generous man. Kayleigh Presente, a high school student from Weymouth, posted the above photo on Twitter with the message “RIP Paul Campbell.” She told Heavy the picture was taken when Campbell brought her and a group of friends to meet Mark Wahlberg on the set of the movie 2 Guns in the summer of 2012. Campbell was an acquaintance of her friend’s mother. Presente described him as “funny and nice.”
3. Patricia Campbell Was ‘Very, Very Good’ to Mayor Walsh’s Girlfriend & Her Daughter
WCVB reports that Lorrie Higgins met Paul Campbell when she was still in high school. According to Lorrie Higgins’ 2014 interview with the Boston Globe, Paul was not a part of her daughter’s life. But she said Paul Campbell’s parents were “very, very good to Lauren and me both.” The Boston Herald reports that Patricia Campbell’s husband died about 12 years ago, and after that Paul Campbell moved in with her. Prior to that, he had been trying to make it as an actor out-of-state.
Mayor Walsh told the media, when asked about the shooting, “This is an ongoing investigation and it is not my place to speculate on why or how this happened.”
Lauren Campbell graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2014. Also last year, she was named to a committee that Mayor Walsh designated to examine “ways to foster and grow a safe and vibrant late night culture in the City of Boston.”
4. He Played Christian Bale’s Best Friend in ‘The Fighter’
Campbell landed parts in the movies Ted and The Fighter, both starring Mark Wahlberg, and American Hustle, directed by Wahlberg crony David O. Russell, according to Campbell’s IMDB page. In The Fighter, Campbell played Gary “Boo-Boo” Giuffrida, the best friend of Christian Bale’s character. Bale won an Oscar for his performance in the movie. Watch some of their shared scenes above.
Giuffrida was featured in an HBO documentary on crack addiction (clip above). The New York Times panned Paul Campbell’s performance in a review of The Fighter, describing a scene in which it “cuts to Dicky’s friend and comrade in crack, Boo Boo (Paul Campbell), who stands slack jawed and still, as if waiting for his next directorial cue. The image of the gaping Boo Boo is comic and somewhat absurd.”
5. The Cops Who Shot Campbell Are 10-Year Veterans
Weymouth Police Chief Richard Grimes (seen above during his 2009 swearing-in ceremony) told the media on January 19, “There is no such thing as a routine call. Situations like this illustrate that.” Grimes didn’t name the officers who shot Campbell but said they each had over 10 years experience on the force. The officers were not hurt. Both have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
One neighbor, Marie Dooley, described the scene to the Boston Herald, saying, “About 1:30, I was up and I had just gotten back into bed and I could hear some talking and I didn’t know if it was the kids upstairs — and then I heard, boom boom boom boom, so I looked out my back window. I thought one of our neighbors was putting out fireworks for the Patriots win and when I looked out the back all I could see was blue lights.”