Police Officer And Elderly Bystander Shot And Killed In Weymouth

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At the scene on Torrey Street in Weymouth where police officer Michael Chesna and a bystander were shot and killed Sunday. (Shannon Dooling/WBUR)
At the scene on Torrey Street in Weymouth where police officer Michael Chesna and a bystander were shot and killed Sunday. (Shannon Dooling/WBUR)

Residents in a Weymouth neighborhood are stunned following the fatal shooting of a Weymouth police officer and an elderly woman Sunday morning.

The suspect in the shooting, 20-year-old Emanuel Lopes, of Weymouth, will be charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Officer Michael Chesna and the elderly woman. Authorities said Chesna was fatally shot with his own weapon in the line of duty, in pursuit of the suspect. The woman, they said, was a bystander to the altercation between Lopes and Chesna, killed in her home by a stray bullet.

Weymouth police Officer Michael Chesna (Courtesy Weymouth Police Department)
Weymouth police Officer Michael Chesna (Courtesy Weymouth Police Department)

On Torrey Street in Weymouth, residents say the neighborhood isn't necessarily quiet. They're used to people using the street as a shortcut over to South Shore Hospital. Still, they never expected their neighborhood to become a crime scene.

Sue Nichols said she has lived in her house on Torrey Street for 30 years. The sound of racing police cars nearby woke her early Sunday morning.

"I opened up the window to see it then I went into the other side and that's when I heard, you know, 'Drop your f'ing gun.' The shots rang out, multiple shots, multiple — it was like, 'Oh my god. Oh my god,' " she said. "And then it was just dead silence."

Nichols couldn't be sure exactly who fired the shots she heard. But she did learn from a detective later that day that her neighbor, an elderly woman who lived alone and has not yet been identified by authorities, was one of the victims.

"I've been here for 30 years. I've known her for 30 years. And this is not the way I thought she'd be going, that's for sure," said Nichols. "She was very vibrant."

Sitting with Nichols on her granite front steps, another Torrey Street resident, Derek Hamparian, said the entire ordeal was nerve wracking.

"I thought it was fireworks when I first woke up. But, I'm saying, '7:30 in the morning?' " Hamparian said. "But then it didn't sound like fireworks either. ... Then I heard in the backyard someone like, swearing, and then I just saw a whole load of cop cars."

Assistant Norfolk District Attorney Greg Connor said Chesna responded to a call for a single-car crash in the area. Connor said the 42-year-old officer came across Lopes, the suspect in the crash, as he was allegedly vandalizing a home in the area of Burton Terrace and Torrey Street.

"Lopes attacked Officer Chesna, it is believed with a large stone, striking him in the head, and Officer Chesna fell to the ground," Connor told reporters. "Lopes then retrieved Officer Chesna's firearm and discharged it several times in his head and his chest."

Officials said Lopes then fled on foot, allegedly firing three more shots, one of which struck Nichols' elderly neighbor.

Weymouth Police Chief Richard Grimes said the department is devastated by the loss.

"He was just a great family man. He was a great officer," Grimes said. "I would see him in the morning coming in from the street, and he always had a kind word and a good attitude. He was one of those people who truly sought this job, was fortunate enough to get it, and very much appreciated it."

Monday would mark Chesna's sixth year on the Weymouth police force. He leaves behind his wife and two young children, ages 4 and 9.

Lopes was apprehended by Weymouth police after an officer arrived at the scene and shot him in the leg. He remains at the South Shore Hospital in police custody and will be arraigned Monday.

This segment aired on July 16, 2018.


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Shannon Dooling Investigative Reporter
Shannon Dooling was an investigative reporter at WBUR, focused on stories about immigration and criminal justice.



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