D.A.’s office: Rose St. shooting death ruled a homicide

State police assigned to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office and Revere Police detectives are investigating the shooting death of a man in Revere last Thursday night.

Revere police and firefighters responded to 52 Rose St. at about 9:20 p.m. after a smoke alarm activation. On arrival, they found an unresponsive adult male inside the residence. The deceased was identified as Richard Pignone, 55, of Revere. Emergency medical technicians pronounced him dead at the scene.

According to a police source, they believe it may have been a drug-related death, since the victim was found clutching a small amount of drugs, and since the house showed no signs of a break-in, that the victim may have known his killer. The victim’s dog was found locked in the basement of the apartment.

It was also learned that the Revere Housing Authority (RHA) apartment is leased to Joseph Anzalone, a former Revere police officer who was indicted in a 1987 loan sharking scandal that was dubbed by former FBI Boston Director James Ahearn as the largest loan sharking operation seen in the United States. According to sources, Anzalone had an alibi, since he may have been out of state, possibly in Florida, at the time of the murder.

The victim was a popular local hair stylist and partner at the former “Salon Changes” back in the 1980’s in Revere. It is believed that he may have been living at Anzalone’s apartment. According to RHS Director Linda Shaw, leaseholders’ guests are only allowed to stay a total of 21 days.

Revere police notified members of the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit, who have jurisdiction over death investigations in Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, and state property within the city of Boston. The State Police Crime Scene Services Section also responded to assist in processing the scene. No arrests have been made at this time, but the investigation is very active. As of presstime, Anzalone’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Conley and Revere Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli urged anyone with information on the incident to call Revere police at 781-286-8340 or the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit at 617-727-8817.