BOSTON (Reuters) – Officials on Monday prepared to charge a hospitalized Massachusetts man accused of killing a Boston-area police officer and a bystander on Sunday with the officer’s pistol before being shot by police.
The 20-year-old man was arrested early Sunday after police in Weymouth, Massachusetts, received a report of a person driving erratically. When an officer arrived on the scene, the suspect attacked him with a rock, knocking him to the ground before stealing his gun, shooting the officer and then engaging in a gun battle with other police that left a bystander dead.
Suspect Emanuel Lopes could be arraigned for murder in the hospital bed where he is recovering from wounds sustained during that gunfight, David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, said in a statement.
Officials identified the officer as Michael Chesna, 42, and said the name of the other victim, an elderly woman struck and killed by a bullet that came through the window of her home, would be released after her next of kin were notified.
It was not clear what motivated Lopes to attack the officer.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker wrote on Twitter: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Officer Chesna and an innocent bystander today and my thoughts and prayers are with their families.”
A visibly shaken Weymouth Police Chief Richard Grimes said during a news conference on Sunday that Chesna was a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and had a wife and two children.
“He was just a great family man, he was a great officer,” Grimes said.
Reporting by Scott Malone, additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Alison Williams and Dan Grebler