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Four days after shooting outside Brigham, questions remain

Investigators have not yet revealed who shot a hospital valet, or whether a man later killed by police was armed.

Evidence markers sat on Ferwood Road, as Boston Police investigated a shooting outside the Brigham and Women's Hospital last week.Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe

Four days after one man died and another was injured in a series of events that began at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, few new details have emerged about what touched off a wild incident that spanned two counties and shook the hospital community.

Spokesmen from three agencies investigating the complex, multijurisdictional crime scene declined to comment Monday, saying the investigation is still active.

Police have said that Juston Root, 41, of Mattapan, arrived at the Brigham on Friday morning with “what appeared to be a firearm,” according to Boston police Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long, who spoke at a press conference on Friday. Root pointed the object at police officers, who fired at him, police said.


A man working as a valet outside the hospital was shot in the head, and Root, seen hobbling to a car in a video taken by a witness, fled the scene at the Brigham before being shot and killed by police in Brookline.

But several questions are still outstanding: Was a weapon found on Root, and if so what kind? Who shot the valet, who survived the shooting and is in stable condition? And why was Root at the hospital, where officials said he was not receiving care, in the first place?

The Boston Police Firearm Discharge Investigations Team will look at any officers who fired their weapons Friday. The Suffolk district attorney’s office will look at what happened at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. And investigators assigned to the Norfolk district attorney’s office will look at Root’s death in Brookline.

David Traub, a spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, said the three investigating agencies will be sharing information with one another.

"It’s relatively early in the investigation,” he said Monday.

Root had long battled mental illness, his family said in the wake of his death. On Monday, Root’s father, Evan Root of Ashland, said the family does not yet understand the circumstances that led to their son’s death.


Juston Root about a year ago. Evan Root

“We’re doing a short moratorium on speaking – putting out any more to the press at this point," Root said. “There is more to the story, I’m sure. But time has not yielded any answers and I don’t want to have any speculation.”

Gal Tziperman Lotan is a former Globe staff member.