FAIRHAVEN, Mass. – Former interim fire chief Paul Coderre of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was fatally shot by police outside a bar in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, after drawing a weapon in response to a call about an intoxicated man.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn reported that Coderre, 55, had been drinking throughout the afternoon and was involved in an altercation inside the bar prior to the shooting. When police arrived, Coderre was seen attempting to get into a vehicle and was in possession of a firearm. Despite attempts to de-escalate the situation, including the use of a Taser, Coderre fired his gun, prompting officers to return fire.
An officer from the Acushnet Police Department was hit in the leg by a bullet during the exchange of gunfire, but was later treated and released from the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Quinn emphasized that it appeared as though police tried multiple times to negotiate with Coderre, using several means of de-escalation that were not successful.
The incident is still under investigation by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell expressed grief over the shooting, and while he was relieved that the injured officer will make a full recovery, he also acknowledged the tragic nature of the event.