Crime took a feverish turn this summer that leaves experts puzzled, suggesting that social isolation from the pandemic or counterfeit attacks may be behind the wave of random hostility.
One thing is for sure, the bizarre aftermath of hatred has put Bay State law enforcement on alert.
“It’s probably all a coincidence,” said Steven Skory, Wakefield Police Chief. â€œI definitely hope it will come to an end. But we’ll never know what started all of these things unless you can creep into the criminal’s mind. I wish I had the answers, but I don’t. “
Within a little over a month, the dramatic bulletins keep coming up:
On June 4, two Braintree police officers were shot dead and a police dog was killed while answering an emergency call at an apartment complex near an apartment complex where police shared the suspect after he “ambushed” them in the woods the authorities with.
Both police officers were shot multiple times, said Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey and Kitt, a 12-year-old K-9 veteran with the force who first went into the woods, was killed.
Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros said the suspect – later identified as Andrew Homen, 34, of Brockton – “fled into the woods” where the incident turned into a gun battle in which Homen was killed. The suspect was “known to the police,” with an arrest warrant against him, the authorities said.
On June 26, 28-year-old Nathan Allen stole a semi-trailer in Winthrop, crashed into an SUV and a building, then got out of the truck with two pistols and fatally shot and killed retired state trooper David L. Green and Air Force Staff Sgt. Ramona Cooper, before a sergeant of the Winthrop Police shot him dead, the authorities said.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins later published entries from Allen’s diary, which reads as a manifesto against blacks.
On June 28 in Duxbury, a teenager was accused of drowning his father in a local pond. The 19-year-old Jack Callahan had repeatedly “baptized” his 57-year-old father “because he saw the” demon “in his eyes”.
On July 3, 11 armed members of the Rise of the Moors militia group were arrested on Interstate 95 after an hour-long argument with police. The Rhode Island-based sect of “Sovereign Citizens” believes the laws of the state and the country t apply to them, authorities said.
And on July 9, a man was arrested after allegedly firing multiple shots outside the MassHighway maintenance facility on Route 28 in Middleboro before running into the woods next to a 240-unit apartment complex.
The incident prompted local police to call in the southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, including a SWAT team, before the man, whose name has not yet been released, surrendered in the woods.
Summer usually brings a surge in crime to Boston’s streets, but those flares seem to have no limit.
“Nobody ever talks about policing in the suburbs,” said Emmett Folgert, Safe City Dorchester program director at Mission Safe in Boston. “But it’s just as important that people there feel like they can speak to law enforcement and mental health professionals before anything happens.”
Jack Levin, co-director of Northeastern University’s Brudnick Center on Violence, said it was not uncommon for violent incidents and other crimes to occur in groups.
“In cases of violence there is often a copycat factor,” he said. â€œNot all cases have to be identical. But one violent event or crime can inspire another. “
Several things can trigger it, Levin said.
“We have seen growing divisions in the United States that hold Americans in certain groups by the throats,” he said. â€œThe social isolation due to COVID-19 was also very stressful. And not being able to get a job, lose a job, or be some other disastrous event can go beyond the stress or depression someone is already experiencing. “
Whatever the reason, it was going to be a tense summer.