A 23-year-old man was killed and a 22-year-old woman was injured on Sunday morning when a state trooper fired several shots into their car during an altercation that broke out after a routine traffic stop near Chicopee, according to a statement from State Police.
State Police said they were both Springfield residents, but did not identify them.
They were taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where the man later died and the woman was treated and released, State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said in the statement.
It was the sixth shooting by police officers in Massachusetts in the past six weeks, and the fourth to result in a death.
The confrontation began about 12:20 a.m. when the trooper, whose name has not been released, stopped a BMW allegedly speeding southbound on Route 91, near Exit 8. When the trooper asked for the driver’s license and registration, the man allegedly became combative, according to the statement.
Procopio said that during the struggle, the trooper fired his gun, hitting the man. The woman exited the vehicle after the shooting and cut her arm, he said.
The trooper then returned to his cruiser and, while he was reporting the incident by radio, the man allegedly began driving away in the BMW, according to the statement.
The trooper followed the car for two-tenths of a mile until it crashed into a barrier at the base of Exit 2, according to the statement.
Upon searching the car, troopers allegedly found a loaded .25-caliber handgun and a loaded .40-caliber handgun, both of which had their serial numbers scratched out, according to the statement.
Procopio said the trooper joined the State Police last year after graduating from the most recent police academy class. He has been placed on administrative leave, according to protocol in such cases.
Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni’s office is investigating the shooting. The office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.