It is a measure of how racist sentiment has been inflamed in recent times that people who appear otherwise normal can suddenly act in ways that seem erratic except for the choice of targets of their behavior, as in this case.
An American man who crashed a stolen lorry into a house before shooting two black bystanders was a suspected white supremacist, police say.
Nathan Allen, 28, fatally shot retired policeman Dave Green and military veteran Ramona Cooper in Saturday afternoon’s attack in Massachusetts.
Investigators later found racist and anti-Semitic writings by Allen, who was shot dead by officers at the scene.
He was married, employed and had a PhD and no criminal history, police said.
According to CBS affiliate WBZ-TV, Allen walked through a marsh to a garage in the city of Winthrop where he stole a plumber’s lorry. He crashed the vehicle into an unoccupied home, causing extensive damage.
He then climbed out of the wreckage and attempted unsuccessfully to carjack another vehicle.
Investigators said they found “troubling white supremacist rhetoric” in the gunman’s handwriting.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins told a press conference on Monday that Allen is believed to have acted alone.
The prosecutor said he had “likely appeared unassuming” before unleashing his attack with a firearm that he legally owned.
Her office’s statement said: “This individual wrote about the superiority of the white race. About whites being ‘apex predators’. He drew swastikas.”
The statement added: “He stole a box truck, crashed it into another vehicle and a property, walked away from the wreckage interacting with multiple individuals and choosing only to shoot and kill the two black people he encountered.”
This person was clearly having some kind of breakdown that resulted in him doing seemingly random things. And yet in the midst of it, he was able to think lucidly enough to pick out among all the people he encountered the only two Black people to kill.