Massachusetts Agent’s Body Found in Garage; Aronson Insurance Victim Shot to Death

January 15, 2006

An insurance agent, described by neighbors as friendly and generous, was fatally shot in the head when he parked his car next to his Newton office last Friday morning, authorities said.

Edward Schiller, 39, of Framingham, worked for Aronson Insurance, located in an office building across Route 9 from the Atrium Mall, said Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley.

Schiller parked his Nissan Maxima on the ground floor of the two-level parking garage, and was then shot, Coakley said. His body was found slumped behind the steering wheel shortly after 9:30 a.m.

“It certainly does not appear random, and it is a shooting to the head at close range,” she said. “It’s possible that someone followed him in or was waiting for him.”

Schiller was expected at work at 8 a.m. Police later discovered during interviews in the neighborhood that people heard noises that may have been gunshots at 7:30 a.m., Coakley said.

“He may have been making an effort to come in early,” she said.

There was no damage to his car, “so we believe the car door was opened, either by Mr. Schiller or by his assassin.”

Coakley wouldn’t comment on motive, but said “police do have some leads.” There have been no arrests.

Schiller, who lived in Framingham, was unmarried and had no children. Donna Larivee, a neighbor, said Schiller lived on Hallett Road for 15 years. He often helped Larivee’s elderly father, now deceased, into her house.

“He’d help him with groceries,” Larivee said. “He’s been very friendly. He’s very active. He was very meticulous about the house. He was always working in the yard on a good day.”

Another neighbor, Robin Welch, said Schiller rode his motorcycle in an annual charity event organized by Welch’s club, called Xtreme Riders. The annual event raises money for children with leukemia.

“I’ve known Eddie for years. He’s a friend. He’s watched my children grow up,” said Welch, who is the principal of the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Framingham. “I’m surprised and shocked that this happen.”

Schiller drove a Yamaha Road Star, Welch said. He had one housemate. Someone answered the phone on Friday but immediately hung up.

“For me, he was a great neighbor,” he said. “I don’t know about his personal life. He’s got a lot of friends; a very popular guy.”

A woman who answered the door at the offices of Aronson Insurance had no comment.

Newton, a mostly affluent suburb of 80,000 people located just west of Boston, was recently named the safest city in America for the second straight year by Morgan Quitno Press, which publishes the annual “City Crime Rankings.”

Sil Park, who operates a dry cleaning business a half-block from the murder scene, said the incident was a shock.

“It’s a little scary,” she said.

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