ROCKLAND, MASS. (WHDH) - An armed robbery suspect who was fatally shot by state police knocked on the door of a Rockland woman’s home and asked to use her telephone before allegedly stealing a Rockland police cruiser and leading authorities on two wild chases.
“He was at my front door, I was looking at him,” Christine Breadmore told 7NEWS. “He was like, ‘I was just jumped by two kids. Can I use your telephone?’ I said no right away.”
Prior to attempting to gain access to at least two homes in the area of Brookside Road, Rockland Police Chief John Llewellyn stole said the man, later identified as Eric Leach, stole more than $300 in cash from a 7-Eleven in the town while armed with a handgun before fleeing.
Cellphone video showed Leach frantically running through the neighborhood moments after the robbery.
“You could tell something was wrong. He didn’t look beat up, so I knew he didn’t get jumped,” Breadmore said. “But he was very jittery.”
Brittany Carroll, who else encountered the suspect, says he rang her doorbell three times.
“I thought it was a little weird. I didn’t answer it,” Carroll recalled. “I kind of cracked the door and I saw him going around the fence.”
Officers responding to reports of a suspicious man running around the neighborhood were able to track him down
The officers ordered him to the ground at gunpoint, but the suspect said, “shoot me, shoot me,” and refused to comply with the order, according to Llewellyn. An officer then deployed a taser but it proved ineffective because he was wearing a heavy sweatshirt.
Leach was then able to escape on foot and stole the Rockland police cruiser before leading officers on a chase into Quincy, hitting several cruisers in the process, Morrissey said.
An Abington police officer lost control of his cruiser during the chase and crashed into a utility pole.
Leach later tried to get out of the cruiser with a patrol rifle in his hand near the BJ’s gas station on Burgin Parkway in Quincy and was fatally shot by police, according to Morrissey.
Investigators in Rockland are continuing to search for a handgun that Leach was believed to have been in possession of during the robbery.
Surveillance video from inside the 7-Eleven showed Leach pointing a black weapon at two clerks.
VIDEO: Here’s the surveillance from the 7-11 in Rockland. The Chief says the suspect robbed the 2 clerks at gunpoint. When he left the guy in the gray shirt, who just won a scratch-off ticket & came to collect his prize, followed the suspect while on the phone w/ PD. #7News pic.twitter.com/pqV2dHGG26
— Justin Dougherty (@DoughertyJC) March 26, 2021
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