Prosecutor Finds Deadly 2020 Police Shooting in Newbury Was Justified

Thomas Murray, a 31-year-old from Dracut, was killed in a police shooting last February

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A Massachusetts prosecutor said Thursday that a deadly police shooting last year was justified.

Thomas Murray, a 31-year-old Dracut man, was shot and killed by a Massachusetts State Police trooper at a Newbury gas station on Feb. 16, 2020.

Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said the trooper, Steven Buccheri, did not act unlawfully in Murray's death.

Buccheri "reasonably believed that he, his fellow officers and the public were in imminent danger of being seriously injured or killed by Mr. Murray," Cruz said in a statement.

Authorities said Murray was responsible for several carjackings in the days leading up to the shooting. On Feb. 16, the district attorney's office said, Murray stabbed a sales associate at a car dealership in Nashua, New Hampshire, and stole a BMW X5 SUV.

Police tracked the stolen vehicle and encountered Murray at a gas station in Newbury, authorities said. There, Murray allegedly rammed a local police cruiser in an effort to get away.

"During the incident, two Newbury Police officers heard Murray yell, 'I have a gun!' at least two times," prosecutors said. "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."

Last year, Murray's family told NBC10 Boston they were heartbroken and haunted with unanswered questions.

“You can’t imagine what goes through your mind, what led up to this and why and how,” said Murray's aunt, Cheryl Gordon. “If you knew Tommy, you knew he was a good kid, nice person, he had a big heart, it’s just devastating.”

The NBC10 Boston Investigators found last year that Murray's criminal record was minimal, with a 2008 larceny charge out of Stoughton.

Col. Christopher Mason, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, said in a statement Thursday he was saddened by the loss of life but commended Buccheri for intervening with a "violent suspect" in the midst of a "crime spree."

"No State Trooper begins his shift wanting or expecting to have to use lethal force, but when circumstances necessitate such force, Troopers are expected to act in accordance with the law, our policies, and their training. As the District Attorney’s thorough review of this incident shows, that is exactly what happened in this case," Mason said.

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