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Police & Fire

Massachusetts Man Shot, Killed After Making Bomb Threats, Police Say

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early at a press conference discussing the incident.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early at a press conference discussing the incident. Photo Credit: Worcester County Gov.

Police in Massachusetts have identified a man who was shot and killed by police after he claimed to have a bomb and threatened officers with an assault rifle.

Phet Gouvonvong, age 31, of Worcester, was killed Tuesday, April 20, by a Worcester police officer after making "Furtive movements toward officers," said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early.

The incident unfolded around 10:40 p.m. when Gouvonvong called 911 claiming to have an explosive device and a rifle, Early said.

Worcester police, the SWAT team, and police negotiators responded to Grafton Street where they encountered Gouvonvong fully armed with body armor, carrying a backpack, and an assault rifle, Early said.

Early said the man told negotiators numerous times that a bomb would go off.

Negotiations continued over the phone with the emergency department for more than 30 minutes and then at the scene with negotiators, Early said.

"While the negotiations were going on, the man appeared to get more and more agitated, was making furtive movements," Early said.

As a result, Gouvovong was shot and pronounced dead at the scene just after midnight, Early said.

Early declined to confirm that a bomb was found on the scene, but did say Gouvonvong had possession of a handgun, an assault rifle, and "multiple rounds of ammunition."

The incident remains under investigation, and officials urged anyone who witnessed or has cell phone video of the incident to contact the police.

Worcester Police Department Lt. Sean Murtha said the unidentified officer who shot Gouvonvong was placed on administrative leave. 

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