WINTHROP (CBS) – The head of a Winthrop temple says her building is believed to have been the ultimate target that gunman Nathan Allen was headed for Saturday after he slammed into a building in a truck he stole.
“It’s just beyond my comprehension how anyone would have wasted energy to have such hate,” said Sandra Pellegrino, president of Temple Tifereth Israel. “We were here in the morning,” she said. “Some of us would have still been in this building.”READ MORE: New Memorial In Worcester Honors Firefighters Killed In Line Of Duty
Police are investigating leads that Allen, who was shot and killed by police, was an anti-Semitic white supremacist. Witnesses say he was headed toward the temple, stopping along the way, and killing two black victims, Air Force veteran Ramona Cooper and Retired Massachusetts State Trooper David Green.READ MORE: 2 Extricated From Car After Crash In Medford
Lee Fich, who lives near the shooting scene, said it sounded like “fireworks. I’m very glad I didn’t see the shots, that I didn’t see anybody fall dead.”
Winthrop’s Health Department, which has had grief counselors going door-to-door, planned a 7 p.m. gathering at the Winthrop Senior Center on Wednesday for anyone who needs to talk.MORE NEWS: 'Loss Of A Beautiful Boy': Candlelight Vigil Held In Memory Of 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis
At the same time Wednesday, the temple also planned to open its doors for a gathering, hoping to calm fears in the community. “It’s very hard for us to deal with as a temple, that because of his idea of coming here filled with hate, that he took it out on the two people,” said Pellegrino.