Police in Massachusetts say an officer shot and set fire to his own patrol vehicle Wednesday despite his claim that he had crashed into a tree after being attacked by a gunman.
According to Fox 25 News Boston, Millis police determined the officer had fabricated the entire story after conducting an extensive search and multiple interviews.
The officer’s initial claims resulted in a widespread manhunt, which included the deployment of the department’s Air Wing helicopter, as well as the closure of numerous public buildings including schools and libraries.
“SkyFOX flew over the scene on Forest Road where an officer said he was checking on a disabled vehicle when he was shot at 3 times,” notes Fox 25. “The officer said he fired back, then crashed when he attempted to follow the vehicle. Then, he told police, his cruiser caught fire.”
Police have thus far made no comments regarding a possible motive, only stating that the officer would be relieved of duty. Statements from Fox 25 indicate that the officer will also likely face criminal charges.
“The alleged actions of this officer should not reflect on the remainder of the Millis Police Department,” Millis police spokesman Sergeant William Dwyer said. “The other officers on this department are dedicated public servants and committed to the highest levels of integrity. To their credit, they undertook the difficult task of investigating one of their own and did so without bias.”
— FOX 25 News Boston (@fox25news) September 3, 2015
News of the alleged shooting further stoked nationwide fears of an intensifying rift between the public and law enforcement following the execution-style shooting of a Texas deputy late last week.