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Hundreds gather at vigil for shooting victims in Weymouth

Members of Weymouth police officer Michael Chesna's family embraced at a candlelight vigil held in honor of the police officer and an innocent bystander killed by a gunman Sunday.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

WEYMOUTH — Hundreds gathered at the town’s high school Monday evening at a vigil for a local police officer and an innocent bystander killed by a gunman Sunday.

Emanuel A. Lopes allegedly shot Officer Michael C. Chesna about 10 times with the officer’s own gun, then fired three rounds into the sliding glass doors of Vera Adams’s home, fatally wounding the 77-year-old widow, authorities said.

Weymouth police officers began the vigil with a procession onto the football field. Prayers were read for police officers and veterans, since Chesna had served in the Army. Members of Chesna’s family and some of Adams’ friends sat near the stage and at times during the ceremony appeared to become emotional.


“I just want to thank every person who’s here,” said Chesna’s mother, Maryann Chesna. “My son would be so proud and I have never been prouder to be from Weymouth.”

Monday would have marked Chesna’s six-year anniversary of become a police officer, officials said.

Police Chief Richard Grimes said Chesna was “an outstanding person, an outstanding police officer, and a compliment to the Weymouth Police Department and the community to which he served.”

As the sun set over the field, just down the street from where Adams lived, the American flag flew at half-staff.

“Yesterday, our town was changed forever,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor. “We carry on their legacy with us through our actions.”

O’Connor said Adams was known as a friendly neighbor and a great friend, and praised Chesna as a “protector.”

“In life, sometimes we take things for granted. After tragic events like this, we realize the true weight, risk, devotion, and bravery of the men and women that protect our families and our community,” he said. “Officer Chesna was a protector. He ran toward danger, not away from it.”

A family member of Weymouth police officer Michael Chesna's family is embraced at a candlelight vigil.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Jayden Toland, 11, brought a sign that read “In Memory of Michael Chesna + Vera Adams. God bless them and all the police officers and soldiers who fought for us!”


“My cousin is a [Weymouth] police officer, and we’re sorry for her because she probably knew him,” he said.

His mother, Dana Toland, said they baked four dozen brownies for the department.

George Camacho lives around the corner from where Adams was shot and remembered going to her house with his two children on Halloween.

“Just a great neighbor,” he said. “Made my kids smile and that’s what made her a great contributor” to the neighborhood.

People hold up cellphones with a candle on them at a candlelight vigil for slain Weymouth police officer Michael Chesna. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Tracy O’Sullivan has two young children about the same age as Chesna’s, and said “it’s devastating to think of what that family’s going to go through now.”

“We’re a community,” she said. “I wanted to be here as a community member to support a fallen hero.”

A woman wiped away a tear at a candlelight vigil. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

J.D. Capelouto can be reached at jd.capelouto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.