CRIME

Officer Shot Own Cruiser In Fabricated Story About Attack

The gunman authorities were searching for on Wednesday doesn't exist.

A police officer in Millis, Massachusetts, who claimed that he'd crashed his cruiser Wednesday after coming under attack by a gunman in fact lied about the entire incident, according to local police.

The only shooter was the officer himself, who fired repeatedly into his own squad car, Millis police Sgt. William Dwyer said Thursday. 

The bogus report prompted a massive manhunt on Wednesday for the nonexistent gunman, with a SWAT team joining in the search. Civilians were asked to remain indoors for hours. Officials also canceled classes at Millis schools on Thursday as a precaution.

The officer, whose name won't be released until criminal charges are filed, had claimed that he crashed and his car caught fire after a suspect armed with a handgun fired at him from a dark-colored pickup truck. The officer, who has been variously reported as 24 and 27 years old, will be fired, Dwyer said. He joined the department a year and a half ago and was a full-time dispatcher and part-time officer. 

"I am very upset and don't know how to feel right now," Dwyer said, according to WCVB. "The public is safe and should feel secure in their homes and the community."

Reporters took photos of the charred wreckage of the police vehicle.

Dwyer said it's unclear if the officer also torched the car. He wouldn't comment on the officer's motives. 

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