The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office is continuing its investigation, along with local and federal authorities, into the circumstances and motives that resulted in the tragic shooting deaths of two Black Winthrop residents, 68 year-old David Green and 60 year-old Ramona Cooper, as they walked along Shirley St. between Cross St. and Beach Rd. by 28 year-old Nathan Allen on the afternoon of Saturday, June 26.
Suffolk D.A. Rachael Rollins labeled the cold-blooded murders of Green and Cooper as “executions” in the aftermath of the shootings, noting that writings in Allen’s own hand that were found afterward displayed Nazi and other indicators of white supremacist ideology.
Rollins said in a news release that authorities had “unearthed troubling white supremacy rhetoric and statements written by the shooter,” including a statement about the “superiority of the white race” and whites being “apex predators.” Rollins added that Allen drew swastikas in his notebooks.
Cooper was shot in the back three times and Green was shot seven times. They were walking on their separate ways along Shirley St. when they came across Allen, who had walked past several white pedestrians without incident.
However, Allen only fired his weapon at Cooper and Green.
Although Cooper and Green did not know each other, both were Air Force veterans and had long careers in public service. Cooper, who only recently had moved to Winthrop into a condominium on Shore Drive, had worked with the Veterans Administration for a number of years.
Green, a well-known and universally-loved Winthrop native, was a 1972 graduate of Winthrop High. He had a long and distinguished career in law enforcement, first as an MDC police officer and then as a State Trooper when the MDC police merged with the State Police. He had retired in 2018. Green owned the Beach Rd. residence where he had grown up and where he looked after his parents in their later years.
The tragic events, which lasted all of about 20 minutes, began when Allen stole a large box truck that was owned by a plumbing company and that was parked in the commercial area at the end of Argyle St. bordering the Belle Isle Marsh.
Why and how Allen stole the truck is unclear. The Governor’s Park condo that Allen had shared with his wife, who in town records is listed as the purchaser of their small, one-bedroom unit in October, 2019, prior to their marriage in 2020, is a short distance from the Argyle St. commercial yard.
According to a narrative in the Winthrop police log from that afternoon, “The owner of the plumbing company states that the vehicle was not scheduled to be driven for another two weeks and if it is being operated, that it might have been stolen from where it was parked on Argyle St. The owner does not know who was operating the vehicle.”
After Allen took off from Argyle St., he made a right onto Revere St. and then turned left onto Shirley St. Investigators believe he slammed head-on into an oncoming SUV, causing the SUV to crash into the front entryway of a home on Shirley St.
Although emergency first-responders had to extricate the occupants of the SUV with heavy-equipment, often referred to as the jaws of life, none of the three young women were seriously injured, according to reports.
Allen’s truck then careened across Shirley St. into a small home on the other side of the street at the intersection of Cross St., demolishing the structure.
However, Allen clambered out of the truck unscathed and proceeded to walk along Shirley St. toward Veteran’s Rd.
He initially jumped into the back seat of a passing motorist and demanded that the motorist drive, but when the motorist refused, Allen jumped out of the car. He soon saw Cooper on Shirley St. toward Veterans Rd. and shot her three times in the back.
By this time Green and a neighbor, who had been talking on a typical early-summer afternoon outside of their homes on Beach Rd., headed in the direction of the sound of the loud crash. Upon hearing the gunfire that felled Cooper, Green directed his neighbor to take cover in an alleyway between commercial buildings. Allen chased after Green, who is believed to have diverted the attention of the gunman from his neighbor and other bystanders, shooting him seven times.
Shortly thereafter, a Winthrop police sergeant appeared on the scene and, according to eyewitness accounts, demanded that Allen drop his weapon. When Allen refused to comply and appeared to be trying to unjam or reload his gun, the sergeant shot Allen three times.
While much is known about Allen, it is unclear when he began to exhibit white supremacist ideology. He was a 2010 graduate of Wareham High School and a 2014 grad of UMass-Dartmouth. He also was a graduate of the MGH Institute of Health Professions in January and described himself as a physical therapist intern in his social media posts.
He also was the subject of a column in the Boston Globe in August of 2020. That column described how Allen and his wife, who met at UMass Dartmouth, were going to marry, amidst COVID, so that her 92 year-old grandfather, who was living in an assisted care facility in West Boylston, could witness her marriage in an outdoor setting. (Ed. Note: The Sun-Transcript is not publishing the name of Allen’s wife or exact address of their Gov. Drive condo out of respect and concerns for her privacy.)
Allen’s social media posts and background were anything but indicative of a person capable of committing such horrific acts. The story in the Globe column portrayed a romantic and caring young man who shared a pet rabbit with his fiancee.
Allen had a license to carry a firearm, which the Sun-Transcript has learned he obtained in his hometown of Wareham. However, why Allen applied for the LTC is unknown.
Allen reportedly was carrying two handguns. In addition, a backpack belonging to him that was recovered near his residence revealed a small cache of ammunition.
Among the lingering questions is where Allen was heading in the box truck. There has been speculation that his ultimate target may have been the Temple Tifereth Israel on Veterans Rd. The Temple conducted Shabbat services on Saturday morning and some congregants still might have been present if Allen had not crashed his vehicle and been stopped on Shirley St.
Toxicology reports have not been released, which may be probative of Allen’s state of mind and whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of his murderous spree. Witnesses portray Allen as being in a disheveled state as he made his way from the scene of the crash along Shirley St. and walking in his bare feet.
And then there is the big question: How, why, and when did Allen begin to subscribe to white supremacist ideology, and what caused him to become “radicalized” to such an extent that he committed such barbaric acts?