A state trooper shot and wounded two men early Friday after the operator allegedly drove the vehicle towards the trooper, who was on foot and approaching the vehicle he had stopped on Route 16 in Medford, authorities said.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office said the trooper stopped the vehicle for potential traffic violations around 2:30 a.m. near the intersection of Route 16 and Locust Street.
The trooper got out of his cruiser and started walking toward the vehicle, Ryan’s office said.
“The vehicle, with two male occupants inside, accelerated toward the trooper,’’ prosecutors said in the statement. “The trooper discharged his weapon, striking the two men inside the vehicle.’’
Both the driver and the passenger were struck by the gunfire, authorities said. Both men were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, authorities said.
“Because the trooper was in fear for his life and safety, he discharged rounds from his service weapon,” State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said.
The passenger was released from the hospital, according to Ryan’s office.
The driver, identified as 19-year-old Stephen Cabrera of Haverhill, remained hospitalized and was also under arrest. Authorities said he was expected to be arraigned in Somerville District Court on Tuesday.
Cabrera was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, possession of a Class D drug, operating after registration revoked, speeding, marked lanes violation, failure to stop for police, and failure to stop at a red light.
The trooper, whose name was not released, is assigned to the Medford barracks.
The subsequent investigation led to the closure of Route 16, in both directions, for several hours early Friday.
The investigation was continuing, Ryan’s office said.