Winthrop vigil remembers victims killed in apparent hate crime

WINTHROP, Mass. — More than a thousand people came together on the Winthrop Town Hall lawn Thursday night to remember two lives taken in an apparent hate crime.

Investigators believe 68-year-old retired State Trooper Dave Green and 60-year-old Air Force veteran Ramona Cooper, both Black, were targeted because of the color of their skin.

Cooper and Green were shot and killed by 28-year-old Nathan Allen last Saturday after he crashed a stolen box truck. The vicious murders shocked and horrified the community of Winthrop and put the town in the national spotlight.

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Thursday’s vigil aimed to show the families of Green and Cooper how much they meant to the community.

“David graduated with my sister and was a wonderful human being,” said Donna Infantino. “For something so tragic to happen in his hometown is beyond words.”

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins were among those who stood in support of loved ones at the event.

“When she smiled, she smiled from within. She was extraordinary. She was a good, decent human,” said Randi Woodrow, who knew Cooper.

Green’s brother shared his gratitude for the community support and the lifetime of memories he has of his brother.

“He was very straight with people. He was very upfront,” said Ray Green. “He was an individual that would help anybody at any time without being asked.”

A statement was read out loud on behalf of Cooper’s son, who stood stoically in front of the crowd.

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“She was kind, funny and quiet. My mom had a positive impact on all she met with her big smile and contagious laugh. I will miss her,” said John Bentley, a diversity commission member who read the statement.

Allen’s name was not mentioned during the powerful service. However, afterwards, Rollins said that his family is hurting too.

“Today is about the victims, but that family is horrified by what happened. They offered their deepest condolences to these two families,” Rollins said. “They are experiencing the same shock that we are, and they have been beyond helpful.”

Rollins said authorities would be releasing the troubling “white supremacy and rhetoric” statements written by Allen in the coming days.