Mass. detectives back after internal investigation

One detective shot at a vehicle during a drug investigation

By Robert Mills
Massachusetts Lowell Sun

LOWELL, Mass. — A pair of city Vice Unit detectives are back on duty after an internal investigation found they acted appropriately when one of them shot at a vehicle that tried to run them down during a drug investigation at Target last week.

Capt. Randall Humphrey said Detectives Thomas Lafferty and Rafael Rivera were involved in the incident.

Lafferty and Rivera approached a vehicle in the parking lot of Target, off Plain Street, on Tuesday about 6:24 p.m., after observing a possible drug deal that the two occupants of the vehicle were involved in nearby.

Lafferty and Rivera, both plainclothes detectives, identified themselves as police officers, which prompted the driver of a stolen Toyota Camry to put the car in gear, ram a police cruiser twice, and then drive directly at one of the officers.

Deputy Police Superintendent Arthur Ryan said the driver was trying to "run down" one of the officers.

Lafferty fired a single shot at the vehicle from his department-issued handgun. There is no indication anyone was struck.

The Toyota fled the parking lot and got away on Boston Road. Neither it nor the two men who were in it have been located. An investigation is ongoing.

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