Man accused of murdering Weymouth police officer, elderly woman due in court

WEYMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) - A 20-year-old man suspected of killing a Weymouth police officer as well as an innocent bystander in her own home is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon, according to the Norfolk District Attorney’s office.

Emergency officials responding to a reported disturbance on Burton Terrace about 8 a.m. found 42-year-old Weymouth police officer Michael Chesna suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to South Shore Hospital, where he later died, Weymouth Police Chief Rick Grimes said.

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Emanuel Lopes, 20, of Brockton, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder. He had been driving erratically prior to the shooting and was found vandalizing a house after crashing his car.

Lopes later threw a “large rock” at Chesna, who was dispatched to the scene, from about 10 feet away, according to court documents. Lopes proceeded to commandeer Chesna’s firearm, stood over him and fired about 10 rounds at his head, legs, and torso, the documents said.

When Weymouth officer Sean Murphy responded to the scene, he found Lopes holding Chesna’s gun and fired at him, striking him in the leg.

Lopes then fled toward nearby Torrey Street, where he fired three rounds through a home’s picture window, striking and killing 77-year-old Vera Adams, according to the documents.

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Resident Susan Long says several officers swarmed the neighborhood in the moments following the shooting.

“I heard shots. I didn’t know what they were,” she said. “I open up the back door and instantly there was an officer there. More just came running out behind those houses.”

Long says officers ordered Lopes to drop his weapon before multiple shots rang out.

“You could hear the cops telling him to ‘put the gun down, put the gun down,’” she said.

Lopes was taken into custody in the area of 100 Torrey Street with Chesna’s firearm in hand. The weapon was empty and evidence suggests Lopes fired “15 or 16” rounds in total, according to police.

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Lopes was being treated at North Shore Hospital. He was not medically cleared to be arraigned Monday on two counts of murder. He is scheduled to appear in Quincy District Court Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for the Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrisey said.

Chesna was an Army veteran and a six-year veteran of the department, who was married with two children, ages 4 and 9, Grimes said.

In a statement, District Attorney Morrissey said, “This is an awful day for Weymouth and for Massachusetts. Our hearts are very much with the surviving families of these victims.”

A vigil was held in honor of the two victims at Weymouth High School at 7 p.m. Monday.

“On behalf of the Massachusetts State Police I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Officer Chesna, the family of the Weymouth woman who was also killed, and the Weymouth Police Department,” state police Col. Kerry A. Gilpin said in a statement.

Officers from across the Commonwealth gathered Monday afternoon to escort Chesna’s body from the state medical examiner’s office in Boston to a funeral home in Weymouth.

Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund says he is sickened by the horrific attack on Chesna.

“It’s kind of a demonstration of lack of regard for life, lack of respect for authority,” he said. “It’s totally outrageous.”

With many shaken to the core following the death of a second Massachusetts police officer this year, Gov. Charlie Baker felt compelled to speak out Monday.

“Men and women in our law enforcement community every single day have the potential to walk into a life-threatening situation and we should respect and honor that,” he said.

Yarmouth police officer Sean Gannon was shot and killed back in April while in the line of duty.

Prosecutors and state police detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office are leading an investigation into murders of Chesna and Adams.