A man accused of fatally shooting a Massachusetts police officer with the officer’s own weapon and an innocent bystander is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on murder charges.
Emanuel Lopes, 20, will either be arraigned at his hospital bedside or in court in connection with the deaths of Weymouth officer Michael Chesna, a six-year veteran of the force, and an unidentified woman, who was hit by stray bullets in a nearby home. It was not immediately clear if Lopes had an attorney who could comment on the charges.
Weymouth police were responding to a report of a person driving erratically Sunday morning when they discovered a crashed BMW, said Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey.
Chesna was trying to locate the driver of the vehicle, Morrissey said, when he spotted Lopes allegedly vandalizing a home. That’s when Lopes hit Chesna in the head with a rock. Chesna fell to the ground, and Lopes took the officer’s gun and repeatedly shot him in the head and chest, Morrissey said.
Another officer who had arrived at the scene shot Lopes in the leg. Lopes then fled and fired shots into a nearby home, killing a woman inside, Morrissey said. Her name was not immediately released.
“This is an awful day for Weymouth and for Massachusetts. Our hearts are very much with the surviving families of these victims,” Morrissey said.
Weymouth Police Chief Richard Grimes described Chesna as a 42-year-old Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who leaves behind a wife and two young children. Chesna was from Weymouth and graduated in 1994 from Weymouth High School.
“I hired Mike Chesna six years ago tomorrow,” Grimes said.
Grimes said he had spoken to Chesna’s mother and she told him that her son joined the military “to open the doors to get in this job.”
“He always had a kind word and a good attitude … we very much appreciated his service to the Weymouth Police Department,” said Grimes.
Chesna’s body was transported from the hospital to the state medical examiner’s office in Boston. Dozens of police officers saluted the vehicle carrying his body as it passed by.
Weymouth is located approximately 16 miles (26 kilometers) south of Boston on what is known as the South Shore.