Crime

‘Hate in this man’s heart’: Officials investigate motive behind Winthrop shooting

Allen held "some very disturbing beliefs, white supremacist beliefs, regarding members of our Jewish population, as well as Black individuals."

A note left on the fence at the scene where an armed man crashed a stolen truck on Saturday, June 26, then fatally shot two people before being killed by law enforcement on June 28, 2021 in Winthrop, Massachusetts. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Officials are investigating what motivated the Winthrop shooter, and early evidence shows he held radicalized, white supremacist beliefs, authorities said Monday.

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On June 26, Nathan Allen, 28, stole a plumbing truck and crashed it into a building on Shirley Street before shooting retired state trooper David Green, 68, and Air Force veteran Ramona Cooper, 60. He was killed by police when his gun jammed, according to The Boston Globe.

At a June 28 press conference, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins told reporters that investigators are not certain when he became radicalized, but are committed to finding out why and how it happened.

“We are learning more every day, but I am confident saying that there was hate in this man’s heart,” she said. “Whether that was the only reason he did what he did, we’re not going to be fully sure. But I can tell you I’m certain of his language, in his own handwriting, and certain of the fact that the two people that were murdered are Black.”

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Rollins said investigators learned about Allen’s mindset from his writings, including notebook entries from the last week, which had white supremacist rhetoric, drawings of swastikas, and described white people as “apex predators.” At the press conference, Rollins said Allen held “some very disturbing beliefs, white supremacist beliefs, regarding members of our Jewish population, as well as Black individuals.”

While authorities do not know where Allen was headed when he crashed, they noted that Jewish temples were nearby.

Several bystanders, who are white, shared experiences of close contact with the shooter.

“The shooter was standing right beside me, with his gun on his side. We stared at each other and I shut my eyes because I didn’t want to see … the bullet coming,” Bill Leach told NBC10 Boston.

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Neighbor Kim Carrillo told The Boston Globe that Allen was carrying two guns when he charged at police.

“He went right past us,” she said. “He didn’t touch us. He looked right at us.”

Rollins was not aware of Allen before the attack, but said he had a license to carry firearms which means he’d passed a background check. FBI spokesperson Kristen Setera told the Globe that Allen was not known to the agency.

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