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  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    Two women hug after exiting Paul Frontiero's wake in Gloucester, Friday afternoon.
  • Staff file photo

    Candice LeCourt helps one of the victims of an altercation on Spruce Street in October 2011, Kathryn Libby up a wheelchair ramp outside of the James C. Greeley Funeral home in Gloucester where the wake for their friend Paul Frontiero was happening. Frontiero was stabbed to death by a man who was holding Libby and Jill Arnold at knife point.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    Kimberly Vara, of Nashua, walks down the walkway to the James C. Greeley Funeral Home, Friday afternoon, after attending the wake for Paul Frontiero, who was stabbed to death outside of his Nashua home, Sunday night.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    Jill Arnold, one of the victims of Sunday night's altercation and fatal stabbing of Paul Frontiero outside of their Nashua home on Sunday walks out of the James C. Greeley Funeral Home in Gloucester, Mass., Friday afternoon after attending Frontiero's wake.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    EASCARE Ambulance Honor Guard, David Sweeney stands at attention outside of the James C. Greeley Funeral Home in Gloucester, Mass., Tuesday afternoon, as a line of people stretches out of the doors and around the corner of the building for Paul Frontiero's wake. Frontiero, an EMT in Gloucester, was stabbed to death outside of his Spruce Street home in Nashua, Sunday night.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    EASCARE EMT supervisor, David Sweeney's badge is shielded with a mourning band in remembrance of fallen co-worker, Paul Frontiero, Friday afternoon outside of his wake at the James C. Greeley Funeral Home in Gloucester.
  • Staff photo by GRANT MORRIS


    Facebook - Grant Morris of the Nashua Telegraph


    Two women stand on the sidewalk between the James C. Greeley Funeral Home in Gloucester, Mass., where Paul Frontiero's wake was held, Friday afternoon, and an ambulance draped with a black piece of bunting to signify the company's mourning over Frontiero's death, Sunday night outside of his Spruce Street home in Nashua.
Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wake held for beloved EMT who was victim of stabbing in Nashua

GLOUCESTER, Mass. – The six members of the EasCare Ambulance Service Honor Guard flanking the entrance of James C. Greely Funeral Service were just a few of the hundreds who gathered Friday afternoon to remember Nashua resident Paul Frontiero.

Frontiero, a 27-year-old EMT, was killed Sunday after he confronted a man threatening his two female roommates with a knife. Police say that man was Matthew Packer, 19, who is charged with second-degree murder.

Frontiero has been lauded as a hero, both in his work with EasCare Ambulance and for his actions Sunday night. He suffered multiple stab wounds, according to investigators, including one to his heart.

Joe Giacalme, a family friend, said it didn’t take long to figure out Frontiero was a good person to know.

“Anybody that ever met him once knew what a great guy he was,” Giacalme said. “People use the word ‘hero,’ and it’s not an under-used word in this case. He gave his life to help save someone else’s.”

Kimberly Vara, another friend, agreed.

“You gravitated toward him because you knew he was going to say something funny to make you laugh,” Vara said. “He was just an amazing person and just such a tremendous loss.”

In addition to the ambulance company’s honor guard, an ambulance and Gloucester Police cruiser were parked in front of the funeral home with lights flashing during the wake. A few cars honked and drivers nodded solemnly at mourners gathered outside.

The line to get in the funeral home extended out the doors and wrapped around the corner.

Mike Musticchio worked as Frontiero’s partner at EasCare for more than a year when Musticchio was hired at the company. Musticchio was going to go on the medical mission to Haiti for which Frontiero was scheduled to leave in May.

“He taught me,” Musticchio said. “He was an unbelievable EMT, just the kindest, nicest person ever. He always had a smile on his face.

“He was just a great, great, great person.”

Unfortunately, EMTs couldn’t arrive fast enough to save Frontiero. He was brought to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua after his friends called 911. He was pronounced dead there shortly before 11:30 p.m.

Investigators say the alleged confrontation between Packer and Frontiero happened after someone else yelled “Captain Crunch” at a passing car. The car turned around, and Packer got out and confronted Jill Arnold and Kathryn Libby, both 29, of 13 Spruce St., according to court documents.

Frontiero was reportedly getting into bed and went outside when he heard the disturbance. Packer had a knife pointed at the two women and Frontiero intervened, Arnold said.

Arnold received minor injuries. Libby was stabbed repeatedly and suffered injuries that weren’t life-threatening. She was released from the hospital Tuesday, and she and Arnold were at the wake.

Packer was arrested in Wareham on Monday and extradited to New Hampshire the next day. He is charged with two alternate counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault.

He was held without bail following an arraignment at Nashua’s district court. He will be back in court Wednesday for a probable cause hearing.

Frontiero’s friends and family weren’t thinking about that on Friday, though. They were remembering their friend, son and coworker.

Thomas Desserres, Frontiero’s supervisor at EasCare, said he was everything you could ask for in an EMT. Things have been difficult around the office since news of his death got around.

“It’s hard. It’s been real hard,” Desserres said. “Paul was the type of person everyone gravitated to. He was just, he was a great guy.

“It’s hitting a lot of people really hard. We’ve actually had employees come in off duty just so they’re not home alone.”

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).