Officials: Coast Guardsman shot 2 colleagues, ambushed cops
BOURNE, Mass. (AP) — A Coast Guard member shot two colleagues at a Cape Cod condo complex early Thursday, lit a car on fire to hamper police, planted fake bombs and then opened fire on officers, authorities said.
The episode, which the police chief in the town of Bourne called “crazy and hectic,” left one woman dead, another woman and an officer wounded, and the suspect in custody.
Coast Guard spokesman Ross Ruddell said both women involved were stationed on Cape Cod, while the suspected shooter was a man stationed in Virginia. Ruddell said he could not disclose their names or how they knew each other.
Massachusetts authorities later identified the suspect as Adrian Loya, of Chesapeake, Virginia, who turned 31 on Thursday. He pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, armed assault, home invasion and assault and battery of a police officer during an arraignment Thursday afternoon in Falmouth District Court.
A judge ordered Loya to be held without bail and to undergo a mental health examination. He also ordered the file sealed.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and Loya’s attorney, J. Drew Segadelli, didn’t discuss details of the case during the court hearing. Afterward, Segadelli said Loya and the two women had some type of relationship but said he couldn’t comment further because the file was sealed.
Loya appears to have had only one previous criminal case. Virginia court records indicate an Adrian Loya with the same month and year of birth paid a fine for a misdemeanor “public swearing/intoxication” case out of Gloucester County in 2008.
Loya set a vehicle on fire to block the only road into the condo complex and set up devices resembling bombs, authorities said. The state police bomb squad examined the devices and determined they were all fakes that contained no explosives, Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said.
Loya was taken into custody at gunpoint about a half hour after the 2:15 a.m. attack.
What started as a response to reports of a vehicle on fire turned into a “crazy and hectic scene,” Bourne police Chief Dennis Woodside said. He said police also received a 911 call from one of the victims from inside a condo.
Officers made their way around the burning vehicle on foot and were pinned down by gunfire, O’Keefe said.
The wounded officer, shot in the back below his bulletproof vest, took cover between two vehicles, his colleagues unable to reach him. Woodside described the officer as a veteran with at least 10 years of service.
The officer lay wounded for about 15 minutes before the suspect was arrested. Even then, police remained wary because they were not aware if there were other gunmen.
Two colleagues grabbed the officer and carried him through the woods and snow so he could be taken to the hospital, where he was stabilized and improving, the chief said.
Just after 2:45 a.m., after police apprehended Loya, officers made their way to the unit where they found the two women who had been shot, one fatally.
Residents were at first told to stay inside their units, but Woodside later said the area was safe.
He did not disclose any other details or a motive.
The Coast Guard was helping in the investigation.
“Today the Coast Guard family suffered a tragic loss,” Coast Guard Rear Adm. Linda Fagan said in a statement. “We have chaplains and counselors on site to support friends and families affected by this crime. … My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been touched by today’s sad event.”