Man Who Allegedly Snuck Pistol into Haverhill Police Cruiser in 2018 Found Murdered in Vermont

Elijah J. Oliver made what is believed to be gang signs at WHAV’s reporter during his Haverhill District Court arraignment in 2018. (WHAV News photograph.)

A 22-year-old man, once accused of sneaking a loaded pistol into a Haverhill police cruiser, was apparently killed Wednesday after being shot in the chest in Swanton, Vt.

Vermont State Police said Thursday Elijah J. Oliver of Haverhill was murdered Wednesday morning at 4:35. Police initially said they were investigating a suspicious death, but withheld the man’s name until after Thursday’s autopsy.

“The Chief Medical Examiner’s office determined the cause of death to be gunshot wounds of the torso, and the manner of death is a homicide,” police said. Officials reported earlier that “Preliminary investigation indicates this was not a random incident. No one is in custody.”

In September 2018, Haverhill Police arrested then-19-year-old Oliver, who was described as a “ranking member” of one of two gangs involved in retaliatory shootings dating as far back as 2016 at Haverhill’s Swasey Field. Following his arrest, police believe, Oliver somehow managed to conceal a Smith & Wesson 9mm gun with seven rounds in a magazine. The weapon was found in the rear of a police cruiser where Oliver was handcuffed.

According to a police report obtained by WHAV at the time, Oliver’s “tumultuous” movements upon being handcuffed apparently caused police to miss the gun during a “brief” pat-frisk. He told police he’s “in fear” for his life after his Lowell Avenue home was shot at and firebombed.

Vermont State Police ask that anyone with information that could assist investigation of the murder to call 802-524-5993 or leave an anonymous tip online.

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