WINTHROP, Mass. — Friends, family, neighbors and former colleagues are mourning the loss of David Green, a retired Massachusetts State Police trooper who was among two bystanders killed in a deadly rampage in Winthrop on Saturday.
Ramona Cooper, a 60-year-old Air Force veteran who still worked with the military, was the second bystander killed by the gunman, 28-year-old Nathan Allen, who was then shot and killed by police responding to the scene, the district attorney said. Authorities are now investigating the murders as a hate crime.
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 Green and Cooper dead before a police sergeant responding to the scene returned fire, killing Allen, investigators said.
Green was widely hailed by neighbors for his decency.
“He was sweet, he was kind,” said Sarah Hughes, who once lived upstairs from Green and his mom. “The kind of guy you’d want on your side, you know. He was always really sweet to me and the kids. He had a good sense of humor. Anything to help out anybody.”
Hughes said she was afraid to let her son know it was Green who had been killed because she knows it will hit him hard.
“He’s been retired,” she said. “You know he stepped right in to help out wherever he could. I don’t know what else to say about him. He’s going to be missed.”
Green, who retired from MSP in 2016, had been in law enforcement for 36 years. Neighbors told Boston 25 News he was highly inclined to help out whenever he could -- and it was in that spirit he responded, on foot, to the sound of a motor vehicle accident near his home on Beach Street.
That accident involved Allen, who struck an SUV near Cross Street, then ran from the scene. It was during the period after the accident that he shot and killed Green and Cooper before firing at police. Witnesses tell Boston 25 News Allen had two weapons and when one ran out of ammunition, he tossed it and started using the other.
In a statement on Sunday, Massachusetts State Police said they are “mourning the loss of a member of our family.”
“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.
Mark Shannon grew up on the same street as Green. Though five years separated them, Shannon knew Green through his older brother and through an incident many years later. Shannon said he was throwing snowballs during a storm in the 1980s and his Golden Retriever chased after one and was struck by a vehicle.
Shannon picked up the injured dog -- and then Green was there.
“He said, throw him in your car, Mark. Follow me,” Shannon said. Green gave him a police escort all the way to a veterinary hospital in Boston.
“He’s just a great guy.,” Shannon said. “I could not see him for six years. ‘Hey Mark, Hey Dave how you doing?’ And that’s just the way it is.”
Neighbors gathered in backyards and driveways to remember “Dave” on Sunday, many in complete disbelief he is now gone.
Green lived alone. But the grief and shock indicated he had a large family in Winthrop.
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