A shooting over the weekend near Boston that left a retired Massachusetts State Police officer and an Air Force veteran dead is now being investigated as a hate crime, as the two Black victims were gunned down while other bystanders escaped without being targeted. Authorities say 28-year-old Nathan Allen stole a plumbing company's box truck and rammed into a home in Winthrop around 2:45pm Saturday, with Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins alleging that Allen was driving the truck at twice the legal speed limit before he smashed into the residence, reports NBC Boston. But that wasn't where the incident ended: The Winthrop Police Department said right after the crash, Allen jumped out of the truck and started running, and Rollins adds that's when he started shooting at people in his path—but not at everyone, per the New York Times.
While other people who weren't Black passed him by unharmed, Allen turned his firearm on 60-year-old Air Force veteran Ramona Cooper, who was shot three times in the back, and 53-year-old David Green, a 36-year police veteran who was shot four times in the head and three times in the torso, per Rollins. Both Green and Cooper were Black. An officer on the scene then fatally shot Allen. Rollins says investigators found "troubling white supremacist rhetoric" in the suspect's handwriting, including "antisemitic and racist statements against Black individuals." She notes Allen, who was married and had a job and PhD, also had a license to carry a firearm. Green, shot outside his home, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Cooper succumbed to her injuries at a nearby hospital, per authorities. "This is a sad day," Rollins said, per Boston 25 News. The victims "fought for us to be safe and ... they were executed yesterday, and we will find out why." (Read more fatal shooting stories.)