White Supremacist Killer in Massachusetts Was Allegedly Heading for Local Synagogue, Say Witnesses
The white supremacist shot dead by police in Massachusetts on Saturday after he murdered two African American bystanders was allegedly heading for a local synagogue in his stolen truck, witnesses have said.
Sandra Pellegrino — president of Temple Tifereth Israel in Winthrop, Mass. — told her local CBS News affiliate on Wednesday that the consequences could have been disastrous had the gunman, 28-year-old Nathan Allen, reached his target.
“We were here in the morning,” she said. “Some of us would have still been in this building.”
Pellegrino added: “It’s just beyond my comprehension how anyone would have wasted energy to have such hate.”
The synagogue is planning to hold a community gathering to reassure the shocked local community. “It’s very hard for us to deal with as a temple, that because of his idea of coming here filled with hate, that he took it out on the two people,” Pellegrino said.
“While we await further investigation from law enforcement, the reports of this synagogue being an alleged target are deeply disturbing,” said Evan Bernstein, National Director and CEO of the Community Security Service, a nonprofit which works to protect Jewish institutions.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Bernstein told The Algemeiner. “With the current climate, Jewish communal leadership — not only in the Boston metro area but across the country — must continue to prioritize security.”
Allen, who was married and had no past criminal record, stole a plumber’s truck from a garage in Winthrop which he then crashed into an unoccupied home, causing extensive damage.
He then climbed out of the wreckage and attempted unsuccessfully to carjack another vehicle. It was at this point that he murdered two Black people in the vicinity.
As he walked away from the wreckage, Allen shot Ramona Cooper, 60, a staff sergeant in the US Air Force, three times in the back, killing her. He then shot retired Massachusetts state trooper Dave Green, 68, multiple times. When police arrived on the scene they exchanged gunfire with Allen, killing him.
Investigators later said they found “troubling white supremacist rhetoric” in the gunman’s handwriting.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins told a press conference earlier this week that Allen was believed to have acted alone.
“This individual wrote about the superiority of the white race. About whites being ‘apex predators’. He drew swastikas,” Rollins’s office pointed out in a statement.