Police: Armed driver rams Mass. police station, is fatally shot
A man in an SUV smashed into the station by repeatedly ramming the front doors, police said
By Scott J. Croteau
LEICESTER, Mass. — The man who was fatally shot by police in Leicester Sunday morning drove an SUV up a handicap ramp and repeatedly rammed the doors of the police station, authorities said.
That man, who police have not yet publicly identified, then popped out of the SUV and “immediately shouldered what appeared to be a rifle and aimed it at the police officers,” Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said.
Two Leicester officers who responded to the scene fired at the man, who was fatally wounded.
The incident unfolded at 6:13 a.m. Sunday.
A dispatcher at a regional communications center in Worcester saw the SUV on surveillance cameras slam into the steel set of doors at the Leicester police station located at 90 South Main St.
“He repeatedly rammed those doors until he gained entry with his vehicle into the building,” Early said.
Leicester Police Chief Kenneth Antanavica said the driver used the handicap ramp outside the building to drive up to the building.
“Almost the entire vehicle was into the lobby,” the chief said.
The dispatcher called Leicester officers who were on duty.
“When the officers arrived at the police station the vehicle was in front of the doors,” Early said. “The man exited the vehicle and immediately shouldered what appeared to be a rifle and aimed it at the police officers.”
Early declined to say if the rifle was an operable firearm or something else.
“It appeared to be a real gun when he was pointing it at the officers,” Early said.
The officers shot the man. Officers then placed the man on his side and began administering first aid until an ambulance arrived.
The man was rushed to Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester where he was pronounced dead.
No officers were injured.
At around 6:15 a.m., a police dispatcher announced that a vehicle had rammed into the police station, according to archived audio on Broadcastify.
“Station 10 to ambulance personnel and company-wide, be advised there’s a vehicle in the lobby,” she said. A few moments later, she added, “the vehicle attempted to get out of the lobby and then just came back in again,” noting it’s “going to damage the building or people.”
Not long after officers say they’re at the station, someone shouts, “Suspect’s down!”
The dispatcher later radios out that, “we have a male party down on the ground,” and the ambulance crew reports that the suspect suffered a gunshot wound.
Early, who referenced the surveillance video during a press conference, did not discuss any possible motive or reasons behind what happened citing the ongoing investigation.
“You got a guy shouldering a rifle, pointing it at the officers. You can see the reaction of the officers as what appears to be that rifle is pointed at them,” Early said.
The man, who is in his 20s, appeared to be white and was known to police “a little,” Early said. The man had a pending traffic case in East Brookfield District Court.
Antanavica called it an isolated incident and offered his thoughts and prayers to everyone involved.
The two officers who fired their weapons were placed on administrative leave per department policy. Early said part of the investigation, which will be conducted by Massachusetts State Police troopers assigned to his office, will be to determine who was in the station at the time.
Route 9 was shut down for hours in the area around the police station and investigators poured over the scene.
MassLive reporter Benjamin Kail contributed to this report
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