A chaotic episode came to a tragic end here Friday morning when a State Police trooper fatally shot a man who had allegedly robbed a Rockland store at gunpoint and then stole a police cruiser, leading authorities on a chase through several South Shore communities before exiting the vehicle with a police patrol rifle in both hands, prompting the trooper to open fire, officials said.
The incident lasted several hours and resulted in the minor injuries of police officers in Abington and Weymouth, damage to at least three cruisers, and the suspension of the MBTA’s Red Line and commuter rail service for South Shore residents during the Friday morning commute.
During a morning briefing, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey provided some details of the final confrontation in Quincy near the intersection of Burgin Parkway and Quincy Street.
Morrissey said the 36-year-old man, who was identified by Morrissey’s office Friday evening as Eric M. Leach, who had past addresses in Brockton and Winthrop, was still in the stolen police SUV when it was trapped between armored vehicles known as Bearcats. Police were speaking with Leach and saw as he put his hands on the patrol rifle installed in the cruiser.
Police repeatedly ordered him to drop the patrol rifle, Morrissey said.
“Despite numerous requests to surrender, the suspect started to come out of the passenger door armed with the patrol rifle,” Morrissey said. At that point, a member of the State Police STOP team fired once, mortally wounding the man, Morrissey said.
Leach was later pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center, Morrissey said.
Morrissey said Leach robbed a Rockland 7-Eleven store around 7 AM “armed with a reported handgun.” The prosecutor said the suspect fled the store with an undetermined amount of cash.
Following the alleged 7-Eleven robbery, Morrissey said, Rockland police “immediately began a search and a chase,” by foot and auto… Boston Globe