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DA says deadly police force justified in man’s shooting

August 20, 2021 GMT

QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say they have concluded that a police officer was justified in using deadly force when he shot an armed man suspected of robbing a convenience store in Rockland last March.

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said the officer fatally shot Eric Leach, 37, after Leach commandeered a Rockland police cruiser and gained control of a rifle in the patrol car.

The officer fired when Leach, during a standoff with Quincy police, raised the rifle to eye level, Morrissey’s office said in a report released Thursday. Leach was taken to a hospital where he died.

Investigators said Leach used another weapon to rob the store early on March 26, then eluded responding officers and gained control of the squad car, triggering a long chase.

When police tried to persuade Leach to surrender, he said he would rather die than be taken into custody and threatened to kill the officers who had converged on the scene, Morrissey said.