A 41-year-old New Bedford man died this morning after being shot by a state trooper during an altercation on Route 28 in Quincy near the Randolph line, authorities said.
A trooper from the Milton barracks fired his gun in a “violent confrontation” with the driver of a car, said Colonel Timothy Alben, head of the State Police.
The victim was Wilfredo Justiniano Jr. of Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford, Norfolk district attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office said
The incident began when a concerned motorist called Milton police at 7:56 a.m. to report a vehicle operating erratically with “what appeared to be a medical emergency,” Alben said. The woman who called was concerned, both because of the erratic driving and observations she made of the driver, Alben said.
Milton police relayed the call to the Milton State Police barracks, which dispatched the trooper.
“During the confrontation, our trooper discharged his firearm,” Alben said in a news conference this morning near the shooting scene.
Justiniano was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Milton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 9 a.m., prosecutors said.
Justiniano, a disabled man whose mental illness had kept him from working recently, was in the Quincy area visiting his father.
His family in New Bedford is seeking answers about what happened. “The way he went down is unbelievable,” said Damaris Justiniano, his younger sister. Her brother was the oldest of three siblings. “He was a quiet person. He didn’t do any harm to anybody. He was always to himself.”
The district attorney and State Police detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office are investigating.
A resident in the area said police cars and ambulances raced by shortly after 8 a.m.
The original call was for a person suffering an anxiety attack, prompting a medical response from the Milton Fire Department, Fire Lieutenant Paul McNulty said.
However, things had escalated by the time firefighters and officers arrived on the scene, he said.
“When we got up there, that was not the case,” said McNulty. He said the incident happened on a stretch of road in the Blue Hills Reservation.
State Police were also involved in a confrontation in South Boston Wednesday night in which a man wielding a pellet gun was shot and injured. Authorities have not released how many shots were fired and who among the responding troopers and Boston police fired their guns. A police officer was also injured after being struck by at least one pellet fired by the man.