Valet Accidentally Shot by Police Officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Police officers accidentally shot a valet outside of Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Feb. 7, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said at a press conference on Tuesday. 

The police arrived at Brigham and Women’s on the morning of Feb. 7 after they received a call about a person in possession of a gun. Police fatally shot the suspect, identified as 41-year-old Juston Root, after chasing him four miles to Brookline, according to The Boston Globe.

Root had pulled a fake gun on a hospital security guard and chased two other guards before the police were called, Rollins said at the conference. When the police arrived, Root aimed the apparent firearm at a police officer at close range, prompting the police to begin shooting.

The firearm was discovered to be a replica following the fatal shooting of Root in Brookline.

“The investigation revealed that the weapon recovered on scene near Mr. Root in Norfolk County, which he has brandished in Suffolk County, was not a working firearm,” Rollins said. “We can therefore determine that the valet was struck by a bullet discharged by a Boston Police officer.”

Root had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and sometimes experienced episodes of paranoia, his father, Evan Root, told The Boston Globe. His mother, Barbara Root, said that Root has gotten into trouble twice for producing a “toy gun” in the past years.

Rollins said that Suffolk County is still investigating the incident. The information that she shared was preliminary, based on audio recording from the Boston Police, the internal radio communication at Brigham and Women’s hospital, and available videos and interviews.

The Root family and the injured valet were briefed of the information shared at the press conference, according to Rollins. William Gross, commissioner of the Boston Police, said that he had spoken with the valet on the morning of the conference and that the valet is “in good spirit.”

Rollins said that she only provided partial information on the incident to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, which might take months to reach a final determination.

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