WINTHROP (CBS) – The sounds of a crowd singing “Amazing Grace” could be heard throughout the small seaside town of Winthrop Thursday night, as hundreds gathered to remember the victims of a double murder in the town on Saturday.
Air Force veteran Ramona Cooper and retired Massachusetts State Trooper Dave Green, who were both Black, were shot and killed June 26 by Nathan Allen, according to investigators. They say Allen may have been an anti-Semitic white supremacist. He was shot and killed by Winthrop Police.
Several state representatives attended the 7 p.m. vigil outside town hall, including Gov. Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito, as well as District Attorney Rachael Rollins.
The families of Green and Cooper spoke to a crowd of hundreds of people at the vigil, thanking them for their support.
“Over the last couple days, the world has been watching this town, and I want them to realize what kind of brother I had and what kind of town my brother and I grew up in,” Ray Green said while memorializing his brother Dave. “He could connect with anyone, and when he talked to you, he talked with his heart. He listens not only with his ears, but with his heart.”
Dave Green was born and raised in Winthrop, while Ramona Cooper was new to town. The two were strangers to each other, but their names are forever linked by this tragedy.
Cooper’s family arrived in town on Thursday from Pennsylvania for the vigil. A member of the Winthrop Diversity Commission read a statement on behalf of Gary Cooper Jr., while Ramona‘s son stood to the side and lit a candle for his mother.
“My mom was a hard worker,” it read. “She graduated college, and she was a very educated woman. She was kind, funny, and quiet.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, whose office is leading the investigation, told reporters her team has been in constant contact with not only the victims’ families, but Allen’s, too.
“Today is about the victims, but that family is horrified by what happened,“ Rollins said. “They offer their deepest condolences to these two families. They are experiencing the same shock that we are and they have been beyond helpful in our investigation. This man’s wife, his parents, his brother, his in-laws reached out and helped at every single turn.”
Rollins has previously said investigation has shown Allen “had hate in his heart,” and had white supremacists beliefs. Both of the families of Ramona Cooper and David Green touched on the hate crime investigation in their remarks.
“The racial divide in America is not where it should be in 2021,“ Gary Cooper’s statement read. “My family and I can only hope for the sake of my mother and all victims of racially-motivated crimes that their deaths will not be in vain.”
At the end of his speech, Ray Green leaned into the microphone and said, “I want to say this loud and clear: to my brother, all lives mattered.”
Green will be laid to rest on Friday in his hometown of Winthrop.
The family of Ramona Cooper tells WBZ her services will be early next week.