A Saturday shooting that claimed the lives of two Black victims, an Air Force veteran and a retired State Police trooper in Winthrop, Massachusetts, is being investigated as a hate crime, according to The Boston Globe.
28-year-old Nathan Allen fatally shot Ramona Cooper, 60, a staff sergeant in the Air Force, and David L. Green, 68, a retired state police trooper, after he crashed a stolen vehicle into a residential home, fleeing on foot.
Authorities have reason to believe Allen acted alone but shared “anti-Semitic and racist statements against Black individuals,” according to Rachael Rollins, the district attorney in Suffolk County. Rollins added that investigators uncovered white-supremacist rhetoric in his personal belongings where he wrote about “the superiority of the white race” how white people were “apex predators,” along with swastika drawings.
Cooper and Green were killed shortly after 2:15 p.m. when Allen crashed the vehicle while driving twice the speed limit. Cooper was struck three times in the back by Allen, also fired seven rounds into Green’s head, neck, and torso. Authorities also believe the victims were targeted because of their race as Allen walked past several people who were not Black and decided against shooting them.
“This is a sad day. These two people protected our rights. They fought for us to be safe and to have the opinions that we have, and they were executed yesterday,” Rollins said. “And we will find out why, and find out more about this man who did this.”
“There is a growing national, and global, problem with extremism and white supremacy. 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,’” Rollins continued.
Allen was shot and killed by a Winthrop police seargent after exchanging fire in the relatively quiet neighborhood as residents with children reacted to the violence. Police labeled Allen “unassuming” because he had a doctorate degree, was married, and employed.
Meanwhile, the families of the victims are overcome with grief, in losing their loved ones to racially motivated violence.
“My mother was a good person. She would help anyone who needed it. She was caring and selfless,” Cooper’s son Gary said in an interview with WCVB-TV. Cooper was a loved mother, grandmother, and sister who rose to the rank of staff sergeant in the Air Force. Prior to her untimely death, she was still involved in the military
Green was a 36-year veteran in law enforcement before he retired in 2016. He joined the Metropolitan District Commission police unit in 1980 and became a state trooper in 1992.