Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120
BROCKTON – Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz completed his investigation of the February 16, 2020 fatal police shooting of Thomas C. Murray, 31, of Dracut, and released his findings today.
“When Massachusetts State Police Trooper Steven Buccheri fired his weapon on that day, he reasonably believed that he, his fellow officers and the public were in imminent danger of being seriously injured or killed by Mr. Murray,” DA Cruz said. “Based upon the facts presented and the case law pertaining to the use of deadly force necessary to defend oneself or others, and the independent evaluation of a Certified Force Science Analyst, our office has determined that the force used by Trooper Steven Buccheri in this incident was appropriate and lawful.”
From February 13-February 16, 2020, Murray committed a series of crimes including a stabbing, several carjackings and theft.
At approximately 6 p.m. on February 16, Tpr. Buccheri and two Newbury Police officers located a stolen BMW X5 SUV being driven by Murray, at a gas station on Central Street in Byfield. The BMW had been stolen approximately an hour earlier at knifepoint from a dealership in Nashua, New Hampshire. During the theft of the BMW, an employee of the dealership was stabbed by Murray.
The stolen BMW had an onboard location system, and police were able to track it as it drove along Route 95 before it pulled off the highway and into the gas station. Tpr. Buccheri and Newbury Police officers were aware that Murray had just stabbed a victim at the car dealership in New Hampshire. At the gas station, they used their cruisers to box in Murray’s vehicle. In an attempt to evade capture, Murray rammed the Newbury Police cruiser. Tpr. Buccheri exited his cruiser and gave verbal commands for Murray to show his hands and surrender. During the incident, two Newbury Police officers heard Murray yell, “I have a gun!” at least two times. Tpr. Buccheri discharged his weapon one time. Murray was struck in the shoulder. The officers performed life-saving efforts on Murray while they awaited the arrival of emergency medical personnel. Murray was pronounced dead at Anna Jacques Hospital.
The shooting occurred in Essex County and the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) Trooper involved was previously assigned to the State Police Detective Unit attached to the Essex District Attorney’s Office, therefore the investigation was transferred to Plymouth County to avoid a conflict of interest.
The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the fatal shooting of Murray by an on-duty Trooper, constituted a criminal act or was a justified and lawful use of force. The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office retained the services of Cameron Deane, a Certified Force Science Analyst, who focused his independent evaluation on “whether Trooper Buccheri conducted himself in a manner consistent with the training guidelines set forth by the MSP, the Municipal Police Training Committee, the policy and procedures of MSP, and legal constitutional standards regarding police use of force.”
The full findings of the investigation are contained in a report that will be posted soon on our office’s website at: PlymouthDA.com.