A bizarre incident unfolded in Winthrop, Massachusetts, in which shooting broke out after a truck ran into a building. Police reported that there are “multiple injured people.”
The District Attorney identified the gunman as Nathan Allen and said he left behind anti-Semitic and racist, white supremacist writings targeting Blacks.
Asked whether the victims were targeted for the color of their skin, she said, “He walked by several other people that were not Black and they are alive, they were not harmed,” DA Rachel Rollins said. “They are alive and these two people of color are not.”
Three police were shot, including the suspected gunman, Winthrop police said in a statement. Police shot the gunman. In a later statement, police confirmed that all three died. They said the truck was stolen.
The victims were an adult female and an adult male. A retired Massachusetts state trooper, David Green, is one of the victims, according to MassLive. The second victim was Ramona Cooper, a veteran, a staff sergeant in the Air Force. They were executed, the DA said. Both were Black, and the shootings are being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“A preliminary investigation indicates that the male suspect allegedly stole a box truck owned by a plumbing and drain company and then crashed into a residential building on Veterans Road. Following the crash the suspect emerged from the truck and fled on foot. At some point shortly thereafter, the suspect, who was armed with a firearm, is believed to have shot the two adult victims,” police wrote.
Video at the chaotic scene showed a second vehicle crash as well. You can listen to vivid reports from responding officers in the initial police scanner audio later in this article. The truck was stamped with the logo of Rapid Flow, Inc. sewer and drain cleaning.
John M. Guilfoil, who performs public relations for police, wrote on Twitter, “We are confirming a mass casualty incident in Winthrop per @Winthroppolice. Very active scene at this time. @LeahCominsJGPR is headed to the scene to assist police, fire, and town government at this time. MEDIA STAGING TO FOLLOW.”
He added, “Crime scene is in the area of Shirley St and Veterans Road. Motorists are asked to avoid the area at this time and throughout the evening.”
Here’s another photo from the scene, which shows the large truck embedded in the brick building. The motive and whether it was intentional or random are not yet clear, as the incident broke out in the afternoon hours of Saturday, June 26, 2021.
Listen to live police scanner reports here. Winthrop is a community of about 17,000 people located in Suffolk County. The exact details of what unfolded have not yet been released.
Here’s what you need to know:
Live Dispatch Audio Captures Officers Shouting, ‘We Have Another Body Down!’
The dispatch audio from the time the incident started captures the frantic response at the scene.
“We have multiple weapons. We just found another firearm,” police said around 24 minutes into this dispatch audio, courtesy of Broadcastify. Police said the original call came in as a “motor vehicle accident.” At 18 minutes into the following auto, the dispatcher says, “Motor vehicle accident with injuries,” at “Shirley and Cross” and reports someone “trapped in the vehicle.”
At 19 minutes in, a frantic officer tells dispatch, “Shots fired. Shots fired! All units, shots fired at Cross and Shirley Street. Shots fired!” The officer says, “You’ve got a body on the ground…it looked like he had a gun. He fired at them.” He says it unfolded in front of a building at Shirley and Veterans. The officer then shouts unintelligibly. “…engaged in gunfire,” he said, adding that the truck was “in a house, with a building collapse” and another vehicle might have fled.
“We have another body down. We have another shot victim down!” an officer then says. Later an officer says, at about 23 minutes into the dispatch audio, “We have multiple victims down… I need you to secure this weapon.” Police also described finding various shell cases and bullets that they were marking at the scene.
Police Chief Terence Delehanty said in a statement that the Winthrop Police Department “is investigating a serious incident that took place Saturday afternoon in which three people were shot.”
He wrote, “Winthrop Police received reports that a large truck had crashed into a building at 2:41 p.m. near the intersection of Shirley and Cross street. Police also received reports of shots fired. Upon arrival, police found two people found shot. A suspect was identified and located by Winthrop Police. Chief Delehanty confirms that police did fire at the suspect during the encounter. The suspect has sustained serious, life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital. At this time, there are no updates on the conditions of the two victims. One police officer was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation but was not seriously injured.”
Police added, “The incident remains under active investigation by Winthrop Police with the assistance of Revere and Boston Police as well as the Massachusetts State Police. At this time, Chief Delehanty believes there is no further danger to the community, however motorists and members of the public area asked to avoid the area at this time to allow emergency crews and investigators to do their work.”
Police Said There Was a “Very Active Crime Scene in Town’
Witness Robert Harrington told NECN that the gunman “started jogging, then I heard the ‘boom, boom, boom, boom.”
He said the gunman wasn’t wearing shoes and seemed disoriented.
In a statement, Winthrop police wrote, “Winthrop Police are investigating a very active crime scene in town near the intersection of Shirley Street and Veterans Road. There are multiple injured people and motorists are asked to avoid the area to allow first responders unrestricted access to the scene. We will post additional information as soon as it is available.”
Reports are preliminary, and be aware that details can change or even be wrong in the earliest stages of breaking tragedies.
Online records say the building is a commercial property that has housed a small real estate firm.
One Social Media Account Described ‘Entrapment With the Vehicle Into the Building’
A photographer who covers Massachusetts emergency responses wrote on Twitter, “UD Large Scale Incident Winthrop Ma. Reported fire arms recovered, (1) in custody. FD also reporting entrapment with the vehicle into the building-remains active at this time.”
The site added, “Winthrop Ma. Large Scale Incident-also reported truck into a building with some kind of collapse. Multi mutual aid FD’s/PD’s to scene.”
WMUR-TV’s Eric Weglarz wrote on Twitter, “Winthrop FD requesting all off-duty firefighters to report to Cross & Shirley Streets for the mass casualty incident.”