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Family Of Man Killed In Standoff With Police Seek Answers

The family of a Worcester man killed in a standoff with police on Tuesday is pressing investigators for more information about the encounter.

The family wants authorities to release the name of the officer who fired at Phet Gouvonvong, 31. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, and police officials said the officer’s name would eventually be made public.

“They had no right taking my son’s life. They had no right,” Gouvonvong's mother, AnnMarie Gonzalez, said Thursday as she stood on Grafton Street in the area where her son died, the The Telegram & Gazette reported.

At one point, Gonzalez dropped to the ground and wept as traffic passed by.

Police fatally shot Gouvonvong during a confrontation Tuesday after he called 911 around 10:30 p.m. and claimed to have a rifle and a bomb that he threatened to detonate, District Attorney Joseph Early said at a news conference Wednesday.

Police found him on Grafton Street and said he was wearing body armor and had a backpack and what appeared to be a rifle, according to Early.

A police SWAT team joined several negotiators who tried to calm the man, Early said, and another negotiator reached him by phone. After about half an hour, the man grew more agitated and made a motion that provoked the shooting, Early said.

Police said they believe one officer fired several shots, and that Gouvonvong did not fire. Gouvonvong died at the scene.

Early said Gouvonvong had “what appeared to be an assault rifle” and an explosive device. Officers later recovered a handgun with multiple rounds of ammunition from the body.

Gonzalez said she found out her son was in a standoff at about 11 p.m. Tuesday and — calling from her Southbridge home — contacted Worcester police, hoping to talk to her son.

“They kept putting me through to people to people to people to people. Hold on. I let you talk to this one. Hold on,” Gonzalez said. “They would not speak to me. I was there on the line for the whole time. I could have prevented this. I could have come down and stopped this. If they had him there for two hours, I could have stopped this.”

Timothy J. Connolly, spokesman for the Worcester District Attorney’s office, declined to comment on the open investigation.

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