Massachusetts authorities said that a police officer has been fired after an investigation revealed he falsely claimed
a suspect fired shots into his police vehicle, causing it to crash and burst into flames.
“I’m very upset and don’t know how to feel right now,” Millis Police Sergeant William Dwyer told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
The incident unfolded on Sept, 2, when the unidentified officer made a call of “shots fired” to police dispatch. When responding officers arrived at the scene, they found the officer’s police SUV crashed into a tree and in flames. The officer told authorities that a white male in a dark colored — possibly maroon — pickup truck, opened fire, hitting his vehicle several times, causing him to crash.
The officer’s report triggered a massive manhunt for the alleged suspect that involved air support, crime scene technicians and K-9 units along with police from multiple jurisdictions, detectives and firefighters. The incident also prompted the closing of local schools and the issuance of a dangerous suspect bulletin to local residents.
Investigators did find multiple bullet holes in the severely charred remains of the vehicle, however, ballistics examinations discovered that the only bullets found at the scene belonged to the officer’s service weapon, according to Dwyer.
The officer whose name is being withheld was immediately terminated following completion of the investigation and is also facing criminal charges.
Dwyer said that the officer was a former dispatcher and worked for the department in a part-time capacity but was about to be promoted to full-time patrolman.
Authorities did not immediately return phone calls concerning the incident and declined to discuss a possible motive for the officers alleged actions.