A Massachusetts man who murdered two people, including a retired state police trooper, after crashing a stolen box truck, was a white supremacist who was targeting Black people, officials said.
Nathan Allen, 28, was shot and killed by police in Winthrop, Massachusetts, after gunning down retired Massachusetts State Police Trooper David Green and Air Force veteran Ramona Cooper, according to CBS Boston.
Green, 58, worked in law enforcement for nearly four decades, while Cooper, 60, was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
Green and Cooper were among several bystanders who had witnessed Allen after he crashed a stolen box truck into another vehicle, according to a press release issued by Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins. When authorities arrived on the scene in the Boston suburb, they thought they were only responding to a car accident.
“He [Allen] walked away from the wreckage interacting with multiple individuals and choosing only to shoot and kill two Black people he encountered.”
Green was shot four times in the head and three times in the torso, while Cooper was shot three times in the back.
It was not made clear whether Green and Cooper knew each another. Green was shot just outside his home and “may have been trying to engage the suspect to end the threat,” state police said, according to NBC News.
“Trooper Green was widely respected and well-liked by his fellow Troopers,” Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason said, according to MassLive. Mason called Green a “true gentleman and always courteous to the public and meticulous in his duties.”
Allen, who was still armed when police arrived, was shot and killed by a Winthrop police sergeant after failing to comply with the sergeant’s commands to drop his weapon.
“This Police Sergeant, like Trooper Green and Staff Sergeant Cooper, is a hero,” the district attorney's office said in the press release.
A preliminary investigation has uncovered that Allen, a married and employed man with a Ph.D., had no criminal history. He “likely appeared unassuming,” the DA’s office said in their statement. However, authorities have found “troubling white supremacy rhetoric and statements written by the shooter.” Allen allegedly sketched swastikas and referred to white people as “apex predators.”
Rollins told reporters that Allen “walked by several other people that were not black and they are alive,” according to NBC News. “They are alive, and these two visible people of color are not.”
“There is a growing national, and global, problem with extremism and white supremacy,” Rollins continued in her statement. “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.’”
The investigation into the shootings is still underway.