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Fatal Shooting of 2 Black People Near Boston Is Investigated as a Hate Crime

The authorities in Winthrop, Mass., are investigating whether a white man who shot and killed two Black people on Saturday after crashing a stolen truck into a house was acting out of racial and religious hatred.

The suspect, Nathan Allen, 28, had made “anti-Semitic and racist statements against Black individuals,” said Rachael Rollins, the district attorney in Suffolk County. She said investigators had found “some troubling white-supremacist rhetoric” in Mr. Allen’s own handwriting. Ms. Rollins did not say where investigators found these writings.

Ms. Rollins said her office was investigating the shooting as a hate crime and believed Mr. Allen had acted alone.

Mr. Allen stole a large truck owned by a plumbing and drain company and rammed it into a home in Winthrop, a neighborhood about seven miles east of downtown Boston, the authorities said. Mr. Allen then fled on foot, the Winthrop Police Department said in a statement. The shooting occurred at the intersection of Shirley and Cross Streets at 2:41 p.m. on Saturday, the authorities said.

Mr. Allen, who had a license to carry a gun, began to shoot his weapon as he fled, but he walked by several people who were not Black and did not shoot them, Ms. Rollins said.

The victims were David Green, a retired Massachusetts State Police officer with 36 years of experience, and Ramona Cooper, a 60-year-old Air Force veteran who was still working with the military, Winthrop police officials said during a news conference on Sunday.

Ms. Cooper was shot three times in the back, Ms. Rollins said.

Mr. Green, who lived in the neighborhood, tried to stop Mr. Allen, but was shot four times in the head and three times in the torso, Ms. Rollins said.

An officer then shot and killed Mr. Allen, the authorities said.

Ms. Rollins said investigators were not sure why Mr. Allen was driving toward the neighborhood on Shirley and Cross Street, but she said there are several synagogues in Winthrop.

“We don’t know where he was going; that is mere speculation,” Ms. Rollins said. “We do know he had anti-Semitic rhetoric written in his own hand.”

“Citizens of Winthrop offered help because they thought this individual, Nathan Allen, had just gotten in an accident,” Ms. Rollins said. “But they are alive and these two visible people of color are not.”

Mr. Green was pronounced dead at the scene, and Ms. Cooper was taken to the hospital, where she later died from her injuries, the authorities said.

“He was heroic in the 36 years he gave to law enforcement, just as Ramona Cooper serving our country and the Air Force was a hero as well,” Ms. Rollins said. “It’s just a really tragic day in Winthrop.”

Credit…Massachusetts State Police

Col. Christopher Mason of the Winthrop Police Department said in a statement that Mr. Green became a police officer in 1980 and then a State Trooper 12 years later before retiring on Dec. 31, 2016.

“Trooper Green was widely respected and well liked by his fellow troopers, several of whom yesterday described him as a ‘true gentleman’ and always courteous to the public and meticulous in his duties,” Colonel Mason said. “From what we learned yesterday, he was held in equally high regard by his neighbors and friends in Winthrop.”

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