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Boston police report on Brigham incident, pursuit mentions 2 shootings

After a full week of silence, with no updates or explanations from police, the Boston Globe received a police report about an incident at Brigham and Women's Hospital that resulted in a man's death.Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe

A police report outlining the violence at Brigham and Women’s Hospital a week ago and a police pursuit that followed indicates there were two shootings during the law enforcement response, but does not mention if the man who was fatally shot in Brookline after the chase ended had fired gunshots at either location.

Nor does the report explicitly say whether Juston Root really possessed a gun — or any object. It does twice say that he had “what appeared to be a firearm.”

Questions persist about the chain of events that led to police’s fatal shooting of Juston Root, a 41-year-old Mattapan resident who had a lengthy history of mental illness, on Feb. 7.


The police report says that a 911 call described a suspect, later identified as Root, as being “armed with a gun and threatening people” in the area of the hospital shortly before 9:25 a.m. Responding officers were given a description of Root, his vehicle, and his last known location, according to the report.

After a full week of silence, with no updates or explanations from police, the Globe received the police report Friday evening in response to a public records request.

Once at the scene, officers did encounter a man who fit the description of the suspect. The report says that the man displayed “what appeared to be a firearm and physically attacked said Boston police officers.” The officers are not identified.

The report states that an officer-involved shooting occurred, but does not spell out whether Root was struck by a bullet at the Brigham, nor does it say whether he was injured in another way during the confrontation at the hospital. Root was seen hobbling to a car near the corner of Fenwood Road and Vining Street in a video taken by a witness. In the video, the driver’s door to the car was open and police shouted for him to drop his weapon.


While the report does say that another man suffered a gunshot wound at the scene and was taken to a local hospital, it doesn’t specifically state who fired the gun that injured that man, whom authorities have said was a valet. The valet remained hospitalized as of Friday night, when a hospital spokeswoman said he was in good condition.

Root fled the Brigham area in a car and officers gave chase in cruisers, according to authorities. Root “continuously refused to safely comply with their attempts to stop him,” according to the report.

About four miles away from the hospital, Root’s vehicle came to a halt only after “colliding with multiple, occupied, civilian vehicles at the intersection of Route 9 and Hammond Street, Brookline.”

Root then tried to flee on foot and Boston police officers, along with a state trooper, were able to catch up with him, the report said. Root “once again displayed what appeared to be a firearm,” according to the document.

“The Trooper and Boston Officers issued multiple verbal commands, ordering the suspect to drop his firearm,” the report stated. “A second officer-involved shooting then occurred at this location. The suspect was struck by gunfire and ceased resistance.”

The report makes no mention of Root firing a gun at the Brigham, during the car chase, nor during the foot pursuit in Brookline. How many shots were fired by police at the hospital and in Brookline is unclear.


Root was taken to a Boston hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The incident is under investigation by Boston police’s firearms discharge investigation team, State Police, and the district attorney’s offices for both Suffolk and Norfolk counties, according to the report.

A Boston police spokesman on Friday declined to answer questions about whether Root had a real gun during the incident, whether he was injured during the confrontation at the Brigham, and details about who fired the gun that caused the valet’s injuries, saying the matter is still under investigation.

Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald. Tonya Alanez can be reached at tonya.alanez@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @talanez.