By CBSBoston.com Staff

WINTHROP (CBS) – A longtime friend of retired Massachusetts State Police Trooper Dave Green said he believes Green saved lives by confronting a man police say crashed a stolen tractor-trailer into a home and then opened fire on bystanders.

District Attorney Rachael Rollins said Sunday that 28-year-old Nathan Allen stole the truck from an auto body shop, and crashed into a home in Winthrop Saturday. He allegedly got out with two guns, later shot a woman, identified as Ramona Cooper, and then fatally wounded Green.

A short time later, the suspect was killed in an exchange of gunfire with Winthrop Police.

Nick Tsiotos knew Green for over 50 years. They would regularly have coffee together, as they had just done earlier in the day.

“Stunned. Stunned because we were together a couple hours before. I’ve never met a better man and a better person. He was a great role model for my family. He was tremendous,” said Tsiotos.

Retired Trooper Dave Green. (Image Credit: Massachusetts State Police)

When Tsiotos heard news there was a gunman in Winthrop, he texted Green and told him to be careful.

“If you get this message, please text me,” Tsiotos said he texted Green.

Instead, Tsiotos later learned his dear friend was the second person shot and killed by the suspect.

“That’s Dave. He went there to save other people,” said Tsiotos, who believes Green likely heard the sound of the crash and rushed into the street to help. “I think Dave kept people alive by heroically dying because this man was deranged.”

Tsiotos said Green’s death is a “tremendous loss” for the community.

“There was no better human being than Dave Green. He really fulfilled everything that was good and best of humanity,” Tsiotos said.

Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason issued a statement following Green’s death.

The families of two innocent bystanders today are mourning the killing of their loved ones by the assailant in Winthrop yesterday. We at the Massachusetts State Police are also mourning the loss of a member of our family. The victim who was murdered outside his Beach Road home, David L. Green, was a retired MSP Trooper who had an honorable 36-year career in law enforcement. 

Green became a Metropolitan District Commission Police Officer in 1980, joining Massachusetts State Police 12 years later when the MDC Police merged into the MSP. He retired from State Police in 2016.

“Trooper Green was widely respected and well-liked by his fellow Troopers, several of whom yesterday described him as a ‘true gentleman’ and always courteous to the public and meticulous in his duties. From what we learned yesterday, he was held in equally-high regard by his neighbors and friends in Winthrop,” Mason said. “Trooper David Green more than upheld the ideals of integrity, professionalism, and service to others that are the hallmarks of a great Trooper. We are heartbroken by his loss and offer our condolences to his family and friends.”

CBSBoston.com Staff