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John Blanding/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool
A police officer in Massachusetts may be fired and could face criminal charges after he was accused of firing shots at his own service vehicle and falsely reporting that he was ambushed, The Boston Globe reports.
The officer, who has not been named pending possible charges, is a 24-year-old part-time member of the Millis police force who was scheduled to begin training to become a full-time officer.
Sgt. William Dwyer, a spokesman for the department, said Thursday that the officer "fired shots into his own cruiser as part of a plan to concoct a story that he was fired upon."
Dwyer says "ballistic evidence recovered was that belonging to the part-time officer."
During the manhunt Wednesday, Dwyer described the suspected gunman as a "white male with a tanned complexion, approximately 25 to 40 years of age."
The officer alleged that the shooter opened fire on his cruiser from a pickup truck that was driving in the opposite direction.
"The officer spun around," Dwyer said, and when the officer attempted to "avoid gunfire and seek cover," his cruiser hit a tree and burst into flames.
The incident Wednesday in Millis led to an extensive manhunt in the area south of Boston.
The Globe reported heavily armed police swarmed the region in the hours-long search, putting local residents on edge, and forcing nearby schools to close their doors Thursday as a result.
John Blanding/The Boston Globe via AP, PoolDwyer says that after several interviews with the officer and an intense investigation, it was determined that there was no shooter and that the officer fabricated the story.
Dwyer did not offer any possible motives, but quickly distanced the officer’s actions from the rest of the police force, saying "the other officers on this department are dedicated public servants and committed to the highest levels of integrity."
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