WINTHROP, Mass. — A deadly shooting that rocked a Winthrop neighborhood and left two bystanders dead, and the gunman later killed by police, is now being investigated as a hate crime, the district attorney said Sunday.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said the gunman, 28-year-old Nathan Allen, wrote “anti-Semitic and racist statements against Black individuals.” Allen also had “anti-Semitic rhetoric” written in his hand.
“There’s some troubling white supremacist rhetoric that was found” in Allen’s own handwriting, Rollins said, citing preliminary investigation findings.
“This individual wrote about the superiority of the white race. About whites being ‘apex predators.’ He drew swastikas,” Rollins later said in a statement.
Allen “was married and employed. He had a Ph.D. and no criminal history. To all external sources he likely appeared unassuming,” Rollins said.
Around 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Allen stole a box truck, crashed into a residential building on Veterans Road, got out of the truck and shot two Black bystanders dead before a police sergeant responding to the scene returned fire, killing Allen, investigators said.
The victims were identified as 68-year-old David Green, a retired Massachusetts State Police trooper, and Ramona Cooper, a 60-year-old Air Force veteran who still worked with the military. Both victims were Black and shot multiple times.
Rollins said investigators are working to find answers for the families of Green and Cooper.
“This is a sad day. These two people protected our rights. They fought for us to be safe and to have the opinions that we have and they were executed yesterday, and we will find out why, and find out more about this man that did this,” Rollins said.
Allen, the gunman, “was not on my radar” and authorities believe he acted alone, Rollins said.
“He did have a lawful license to carry (a firearm). He had nothing in his background check,” Rollins said. “But this person yesterday killed two people.”
Investigators suspect Allen targeted the victims because they were Black.
At the crash scene, “he walked by several other people that were not Black and they are alive. They were not harmed,” she said.
She said Allen had crashed the stolen box truck in a neighborhood where several houses of worship, including Jewish synagogues, are located.
“We don’t know where he was going. We do know that he had anti-Semitic rhetoric written in his own hand,” Rollins said.
Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty called the unidentified police sergeant who responded to the scene ‘heroic’ for his actions.
That police sergeant who fatally shot Allen “isolated a significant threat to this community and ended that threat,” Delehanty said.
In a statement Sunday, State Police said they were mourning the loss of Green, the slain retired state trooper.
“We at the Massachusetts State Police are also mourning the loss of a member of our family,” state police said.
Green was murdered outside his home. He had “an honorable 36-year career in law enforcement,” state police said.
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, and spent much of his state police career assigned to the State Police-Boston Barracks at Leverett Circle. He retired in December 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,” state police said. “From what we learned yesterday, he was held in equally-high regard by his neighbors and friends in Winthrop.”
Police said Saturday they were investigating whether Green may also “have been trying to engage the suspect to end the threat” before he was killed.
“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,” state police said.
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