Two dead, one wounded in Brockton shooting spree
January 21, 2009 10:16 PM By Milton J. Valencia, Globe Staff
BROCKTON — A woman in her 20s and an older man were killed, and a second woman was critically injured this afternoon by a man who went on a shooting rampage, even firing at police officers as they pursued him across the city.
The shooting spree ended when the suspect, fleeing police after exchanging shots with them, crashed his van into other cars, where he was then subdued, police said.
The man, 22-year-old Keith Luke of Pleasant Street, is expected to be arraigned
Thursday in Brockton District Court on charges including two counts of murder, aggravated rape, and assault with intent to kill. He was briefly hospitalized today for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash, but police said he was not severely hurt.
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz revealed little information about the shootings today, saying the incident remains under investigation. He would not identify the victims.
But neighbors and a law enforcement source close to the investigation, who asked not to be identified because the case is ongoing, said that Luke once lived in the same Clinton Street apartment as the two women he allegedly shot. The neighbors said the women are sisters and are originally from Cape Verde.
Luke and the women would argue about minor things like parking spaces, a neighbor, Ted Donovan, said.
According to police, Luke returned to Clinton Street today and shot the two women, who Cruz said are both 20, after raping one of them. The women were found outside 103 Clinton St. Several yards away, a pool of blood surrounding an iPod covered the snow.
Another neighbor, Jose Canuto, said he ran outside after hearing gunshots to find the older sister bloodied, running into the street saying her sister was shot. The woman was partially clad and had a handcuff on one arm, he said. He helped her settle down, and found the younger sister face-down on the sidewalk, unresponsive.
‘‘She was saying, ‘I’m dying, I’m dying,’’’ Canuto said. ‘‘I told her, no, you’re not. I’m still terrified right now. It just keeps playing back and forth in my mind.’’
One of the women died and the other was brought by MedFlight helicopter to a Boston hospital with critical injuries. Police did not say which of the woman was raped.
Luke allegedly continued his rampage after the shooting, which occurred just before 1 p.m. He allegedly shot in the face and killed a man about 200 yards away before driving off. Police did not identify the man, only saying he is in his 60s, but neighbors said he was a homeless man familiar to those in the area who was pushing a cart full of recyclable cans when he was shot.
‘‘He’s just a can man that comes by all the time,’’ Donovan said.
Cruz would not say if the shootings of the man and women were connected, or if the man was hit by a stray bullet or whether he was randomly shot. The district attorney said the matter remains under investigation.
Police were able to track down Luke after witnesses gave a description of his black van. But still, police said, Luke did not stop. During the chase, police said, he evaded an officer who spotted him about a mile away and then shot at officer Bill Devine, who had stopped his cruiser on the route Luke was heading to.
One bullet went through the windshield and lodged in the driver’s seat, narrowly missing the officer, Police Chief William Conlon said. Another officer, Jim Cronshaw, who was on break at the time, raced to the scene and was also fired at, Conlon said.The chief said Cronshaw fired back, and Luke continued fleeing, only stopping after hitting other cars at the intersection of North Quincy and Court streets, about three miles away from the original shooting scene.
Conlon said the officers who were fired at were brought to a hospital for an evaluation, and were released tonight.