Community members will gather on Thursday for a vigil in Winthrop to honor the life of a retired state soldier and air force veteran who were executed during a murderous rampage that authorities are currently investigating as a hate crime.
Mourners will gather at 7 p.m. on the green of Winthrop Town Hall at 1 Metcalf Square to remember David Green, a 68-year-old retired soldier, and Ramona Cooper, a veteran of the 60-year-old Air Force, who was shot dead by 28-year-old Nathan Allen after crashing a stolen truck in a Winthrop building on Saturday, crawled out of the wreckage and began firing.
Allen was shot after exchanging gunfire with a Winthrop police sergeant.
A limited lecture program led by members of the region’s interfaith religious community will kick off Thursday’s vigil, which city officials have planned “with a significant contribution from families.”
Those close to Green and Cooper are expected to speak.
Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty, who is also the community’s acting city manager, said there would be a “significant” police presence. While no specific threats were received against the vigil, Delehanty noted that security will be a “top priority” to ensure a safe and secure vigil.
Absolutely no backpacks, purses, coolers or bags of any kind will be allowed.
“The Winthrop Police Department treats the safety of this vigil and the safety of the mourners and participants with the utmost care and consideration,” Delehanty said in a statement.
A host of support services including the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, faith-based organizations, the Winthrop Public Health Crisis Response Team, the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and the Commission of Boston Public Health, will be on hand to help residents who may be experiencing emotional reactions, as well as provide support and resources to deal with trauma.
Special education counselors and other school representatives will also be present at the vigil.