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DA: Guy in Brigham and Women's incident threatened guards, cops with a replica gun; valet was hit by a police bullet

Juston Root threatened several Brigham and Women's security guards with a realistic-looking replica gun before chasing after a Boston Police officer with it on the morning of Feb. 7, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said today. The officer, in fear for his life, opened fire on Root, as did another arriving officer.

Root was hit - before he jumped into his Chevy Volt and sped away - and so was a valet a half block away at the main hospital entrance, Rollins said at a press conference on the incident. Root sped onto Rte. 9 and into Brookline, where he crashed into several cars near the Chestnut Hill Star Market and then, after he again pulled the replica gun, was shot dead by responding Boston officers and state troopers.

Rollins provided a timeline of the events of that morning in Boston - after saying she and other officials had first met with the injured valet and Root's family to reveal it.

She said that at 9:19 a.m., Brigham and Women's operation divison called 911 to report a person with a gun outside the rear of a hospital building at 60 Fenwood Rd., that Root had "displayed a weapon in his waistband and threatened" a hospital security guard.

BPD dispatched several patrol cars to Fenwood Road at 9:21. One minute later, she said, he pulled the weapon and began chasing two other hospital security guards coming toward him on Vining Street, a short street that goes from Fenwood to the hospital's main entrance on Francis Street. As BPD officers in cruisers began arriving up Fenwood, she said, Root stopped chasing them and began waving the officers up Vining towards the hospital.

But one officer, who was on foot, saw Root and ordered him to drop his gun. Root "began to pull trigger on that weapon." The officer, in fear for his life, retreated, then fired several shots at Root, she said. A second officer also fired several shots.

Root, apparently injured, jumped into his Volt - which was parked in the middle of Fenwood, and drove away, while the valet, on Francis Street was now hit by one of the police bullets - emergency-room doctors and nurses rushed out to tend to him.

At 9:26 a.m., Root drove under the Riverway on Rte. 9 and entered Brookline, not long before he was fatally shot further down the road. Police recovered the firearm, which they determined was "not a working firearm," Rollins said.

Rollins said the investigation, which involves three police departments and two district attorney's offices, will likely take several more months.

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Comments

...he jumped into his Chevy Volt and sped away

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Just feels we’ve turned the corner if getaway cars include electric ones!

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No Footage?

Seems like a mess and possible suicide by cop situation, but I reserve the right to believe police are CYA mode with this story.

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That Cop is so lucky that gun wasn't working...

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Thank you Adam

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Any update on the valet's condition?

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The valet is doing well, apparently. From a BWH email:

Earlier this afternoon, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins held a media briefing to provide details from the investigation into the Feb. 7 shooting on our campus. Prior to the press conference, I had the opportunity to see our Valet colleague who was injured during the incident. I am happy to share that he was discharged from the hospital last week, and he reports that he is regaining his strength and recovering well. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts.

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"Prior to the press conference, I had the opportunity to see our Valet colleague who was injured during the incident. I am happy to share that he was discharged from the hospital last week, and he reports that he is regaining his strength and recovering well. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts."

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Since the guy didn’t have an actual weapon should this be counted as a homicide?

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If the officers thought he had a gun, and he was pointing it at them, and they thought they were about to get shot, then they have reason to use their weapons in Massachusetts.

It's probably similar to the way somebody can be charged with assault with a dangerous weapon even if it turns out the "weapon" was just his fingers poking from under his jacket - if the victim thinks she was being threatened with a gun, that's enough to elevate the assault charge.

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Is not considered a homicide. The officers in this case were fully justified in discharging their weapons. We still don't know who actually fired the fatal round.

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Riveting story and I hope the valet makes a speedy recovery, but one has to wonder, as a Bostonian, how this person was able to leave their vehicle and engage with three hospital security guards and two police officers, both of whom fired their weapons at him and still be able to make it back into his vehicle and depart, at speed mind you, across the Riverway into Brookline all in the space of ~10 minutes during a Friday morning rush hour. Because there is no way that can happen anywhere near the vicinity of Longwood Medical Area without the assistance of the Almighty.

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But in the video that I saw of the shooter getting into his car, he SEEMED to be driving straight up Fenwood Rd towards Huntington. I ASSUMED he then took a right either at St Albans Rd (and then right on Huntington) or straight all the way and onto Huntington itself. From there I GUESSED that he continued out on Rt 9.

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> during a Friday morning rush hour.

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...and total disregard for other vehicles. Apparently he rammed his chevy volt through all that usual traffic to RT 9.

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The "good guy with a gun" myth is debunked for the millionth time. That poor valet.

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And it does sounds like either "suicide by cop" or psychotic delusions (given what is known about his mental health issues).

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What's such a shame is how in the first 24 hours of the incident, lots of speculative BS was cast onto the VPNE employees. I heard many people saying the valet was shot in a gang related incident. Nope, just the cops shooting people.

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He's seemed intelligent, but his disorganized speech seems indicative of schizophrenia or the schizophrenia spectrum.

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Amazing that the police officer's bullet just jumped out of the gun it was in and hit the valet, it's incredible what technology can do these days. Maybe you meant to write "Bystander valet also shot by police officer" rather than absolve them of fault?

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Agreed. I'll accept that the cops were in the clear to shoot someone who looked like they were pointing a gun at them. But they had no reason to shoot the valet, so whichever of them it was who did should be held responsible.

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Yes, the passive exonerative grammatical construct.

Note when a police officer shoots someone, you will nearly always find the phrase "fearing for his life" inserted into each and every sentence describing the act of shooting. Herein it appeared twice.

You will rarely if ever see this clause inserted with the same immediacy in a sentence about a private citizen who shot someone claiming self-defense.

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