July 16, 2018 / 10:42 AM / a month ago

Delayed arraignment for suspect in Massachusetts police shooting

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts man suspected of killing a police officer and a bystander with the officer’s pistol will not be formally charged on Monday because he is still recovering from wounds sustained during a gunfight with police, officials said.

Suspect Emanuel Lopes, 20, looks on during his arraignment in the shooting deaths of Weymouth police officer Michael Chesna and a bystander, in District Court, in Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S., July 17, 2018. Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger/Pool via REUTERS

Suspect Emanuel Lopes, 20, was arrested early Sunday after police in Weymouth, Massachusetts, received a report of a person driving erratically. When an officer arrived on the scene, the suspect attacked him with a rock, knocking him to the ground before stealing his gun, shooting the officer and then engaging in a gun battle with other police that left a bystander dead.

Weymouth police and other officers from surrounding communities fill the courtroom during the arraignment of suspect Emanuel Lopes, 20, in District Courthouse in Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S., July 17, 2018. Pool/Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger

“The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office has now been informed that Emanuel Lopes will not be medically available for arraignment today,” David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, said in a statement. “We have been told that there is an expectation that he may be fit for arraignment tomorrow.”

Earlier, officials had said that Lopes could be arraigned on Monday, perhaps in his hospital bed.

Officials identified the officer as Michael Chesna, 42. They have not yet publicly identified the other victim, an elderly woman struck and killed by a bullet that came through the window of her home. Her identity will be released after her next of kin were notified.

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But the Boston Globe on Monday named her as Vera Williams, 77, citing members of her family and friends as sources. The sources said that she had been a widow for 25 years and had no children, the newspaper said.

The friends and family could not be reached for immediate comment.

It was not clear what motivated Lopes to attack the officer.

A visibly shaken Weymouth Police Chief Richard Grimes said during a news conference on Sunday that Chesna was a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and had a wife and two children.

“He was just a great family man, he was a great officer,” Grimes said.

Reporting by Scott Malone, additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Alison Williams, Dan Grebler and Marguerita Choy

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