The Massachusetts police officer who claimed that someone opened fire on his cruiser, causing it to hit a tree and burst into flames, made it all up.
Now, he will likely be out of a job and face criminal charges.
“We have determined that the officer’s story was fabricated. Specifically, that he fired shots at his own cruiser as a plan to concoct a story that he was fired upon,” Millis Police Sgt. William Dwyer told WCVB-TV. “The evidence indicates the shots were not fired by a suspect, and there is no gunman at large in or around the town.”
The officer’s horrific – and fabricated – account had triggered a massive manhunt, shut down schools and put residents on edge before police discovered the story wasn’t true.
The man in question was a part-time officer and a full-time dispatcher who had held the job for about year and and a half. Police said they will not identify him until an investigation is completed, but WCVB-TV reported that he is 24.
Dwyer said police gave the announcement to “make sure the public knows that they are now safe,” the Boston Globe reported.
The officer’s false description prompted a massive search of a wooded area with a SWAT team, K-9 officers and a Massachusetts State Police helicopter. Schools in the area were closed Thursday as a result of the manhunt.
“I am very upset and don’t know how to feel right now,” Dwyer said of the elaborate hoax.
“The public is safe and should feel secure in their homes and the community,” Dwyer added.
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