WINTHROP, Mass. (AP) — Authorities are investigating whether a man who killed two people in the Boston suburb of Winthrop targeted the victims because they were Black after officials found “troubling white supremacist rhetoric” in the gunman’s handwriting, a prosecutor said Sunday.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who identified the shooter as 28-year-old Nathan Allen, said investigators uncovered writings that express “anti-Semitic and racist statements against Black individuals.”
Authorities say Allen shot and killed David Green, a retired Massachusetts State Police trooper, and Romana Cooper, an Air Force veteran, after emerging from a stolen truck that he crashed into a building on Saturday afternoon. Officials have described them as innocent bystanders. Allen was fatally shot by police moments later.
The shooter “walked by several other people that were not Black and they are alive. They were not harmed,” Rollins told reporters Sunday. “They are alive and these two visible people of color are not. We will continue to look and see,” she said.
Rollins did not provide more details about the suspect’s writings or where they were found. She cautioned that the investigation is in its early stages, but said that “these families deserve answers and we will find out what happened here.”
Green retired from state police in 2016 and worked in law enforcement for nearly 40 years, said Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason. Green was shot outside his home, Mason said.
“Trooper Green was widely respected and well-liked by his fellow Troopers, several of whom yesterday described him as a ‘true gentleman’ and always courteous to the public and meticulous in his duties,” Mason said in an emailed statement. “From what we learned yesterday, he was held in equally-high regard by his neighbors and friends in Winthrop.”
A state police spokesperson said Saturday that officials are investigating whether the male victim “may have been trying to engage the suspect to end the threat.”
On Sunday, mourners gathered at the scene while some residents left flowers near the destroyed building, The Boston Globe reported.
Brian Marks, who owns the building that was destroyed, told the Globe that he was in “utter shock” when he saw what happened Saturday.
“I rushed down and came to what, to me, looked like something out of a movie or something,” he said.
Bob Harrington, who lives across from the building, said he heard loud crashes, saw the man get out of the truck and walk down the street and then shortly after heard gunshots. He then saw a woman lying on the ground, he said.
Troubling White Supremist Rhetoric tied to Shooter
WINTHROP, June 27, 2021 — “Yesterday, the violence and hate that unfortunately is all too common in this nation, came to the quiet town of Winthrop which was rocked by two murders and the subsequent death of the shooter by a member of law enforcement. The two victims have been identified as RAMONA COOPER (DOB 10/22/60) and DAVID L. GREEN (DOB 4/15/63). Ms. Cooper was a veteran who served our country in the Air Force as a Staff Sergeant. Mr. Green was a retired Massachusetts State Trooper and served our Commonwealth for 36 years as a member of law enforcement. They were both gunned down by the shooter. Staff Sergeant Cooper was shot in the back multiple times and Trooper Green was shot in the head, neck, and torso repeatedly.
“At this preliminary stage of the investigation, the excellent work of law enforcement has already unearthed troubling white supremacy rhetoric and statements written by the shooter. This individual wrote about the superiority of the white race. About whites being ‘apex predators.’ He drew swastikas.
“There is a growing national, and global, problem with extremism and white supremacy. The FBI believes the most serious domestic violent extremist threat comes from ‘racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocated for the superiority of the white race.’
“This shooter was married and employed. He had a Ph.D. and no criminal history. To all external sources he likely appeared unassuming. And then, yesterday afternoon he stole a box truck, crashed it into another vehicle and a property, walked away from the wreckage interacting with multiple individuals and choosing only to shoot and kill the two Black people he encountered.
“When law Enforcement arrived at the scene, they believed they were responding to a car accident. A thorough investigation will be conducted by our Discharge Integrity Team regarding the shooting of the armed suspect. The investigation thus far, however, indicates that the Winthrop Police Sergeant commanded that the suspect drop his weapon prior to shooting and immediately rendered aid. This Police Sergeant, like Trooper Green and Staff Sergeant Cooper, is a hero. The Sergeant stopped a volatile and escalating situation, saving lives, and protecting the community he serves.
“Counseling will be available to children and adults across Winthrop. Winthrop Town Officials will be releasing information about these services shortly. In the coming days, I will be reaching out to each of the families that lost a loved one yesterday and our victim witness advocates will be available to anyone impacted by this tragedy. As the investigation progresses, we will keep the impacted families apprised. They deserve answers about their loved one’s deaths. When it is appropriate to do so, we will share additional information with the public.”
Statement from MSP Colonel Mason Regarding a Victim in Shootings in Winthrop
Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason releases the following statement regarding one of the victims of yesterday’s shootings in Winthrop. Photos of victim included.
WINTHROP, June 27, 2021 “The families of two innocent bystanders today are mourning the killing of their loved ones by the assailant in Winthrop yesterday.
We at the Massachusetts State Police are also mourning the loss of a member of our family. The victim who was murdered outside his Beach Road home, David L. Green, was a retired MSP Trooper who had an honorable 36-year career in law enforcement.
David Green became a Metropolitan District Commission Police Officer in 1980. He became a Massachusetts State Trooper 12 years later when the MDC Police were merged into the MSP. “He spent much of his MSP career assigned to the State Police-Boston Barracks at Leverett Circle. He retired on Dec. 31, 2016.
Trooper Green was widely respected and well-liked by his fellow Troopers, several of whom yesterday described him as a “true gentleman” and always courteous to the public and meticulous in his duties. From what we learned yesterday, he was held in equally-high regard by his neighbors and friends in Winthrop.
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. “