WINTHROP, Mass. — A gunman crashed a stolen semi-truck into a building, gunned down two bystanders before being fatally shot by responding officers Saturday afternoon in Winthrop, Massacusetts, Law Officer reported.
Now we’ve learned the victims were identified as David Green, a retired trooper of the Massachusetts State Police, and Ramona Cooper, a 60-year-old Air Force veteran who still worked with the military, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said at a news conference Sunday.
The gunman was identified as Nathan Allen, 28. He had made “anti-Semitic and racist statements against black individuals,” according to the preliminary investigation. Both Green and Cooper were black, NBC Boston reported.
Allen “walked by several other people that were not black and they are alive. They were not harmed,” Rollins said.
First responders lined the streets to honor Green as his body was taken to the medical examiner’s office, Rollins noted, as she mourned the loss of life.
“This is a sad day. These two people protected our rights. They fought for us to be safe,” she said.
Allen reportedly stole the semi-truck that is owned by a plumbing and drain company. It was not clear if he had a connection to the business or if the building damaged by the apparent intentional act had specific meaning to the gunman, Law Officer reported.
After the crash, Allen exited the cab, walked away from the truck and then gunned down Green and Cooper, according to authorities.
“Ramona was shot three times in the back, Green four times in the head three in his torso,” according to Rollins. She characterized Green’s shooting as an execution.
“We are investigating whether the male (Green) may have been trying to engage the suspect to end the threat,” Massachusetts State Police said Saturday. “Winthrop Police arrived on scene within moments and shot the suspect. The suspect also is deceased.”
Green was remembered Sunday as a hero by a life-long friend and neighbor, Nick Tsiotis, who said he died trying to help others escape the gunman, NBC Boston reported.
“I think [he] kept people alive by heroically dying,” Tsiotis said. “He gave his own life, made the ultimate sacrifice for others.”
Green was a public servant with the Massachusetts State Police for 36 years, from 1980 until 2016. The fatal shooting occurred near his home on Beach Road, police commander Col. Christopher Mason said in a statement.
“Trooper David Green more than upheld the ideals of integrity, professionalism, and service to others that are the hallmarks of a great trooper. We are heartbroken by his loss and offer our condolences to his family and friends,” Mason said.