Witnesses watched from their windows overnight as a standoff between Worcester police and an armed man claiming to have a bomb ended with an officer shooting and killing the man on Grafton Street.
“The cops said, ‘Stop, stop, stop,’ and he just kept walking,” said one witness.
“I seen all the cop cars and there was a man in the middle of the street basically shouting and stuff and he had weapons,” said a man named Ralph who also witnessed the standoff.
Another witness, Ethan Hardy of Worcester, said, “All I heard was gun shots, so I ran toward the gas station.”
The case is now being investigated by Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early, who identified the man killed by police as 31-year-old Phet Gouvonvong of Worcester.
“The negotiations occurred, there was attempts to deescalate,” Early said.
Although it doesn’t appear Gouvonvong fired any shots, Early said, he kept moving toward police and was heavily armed.
“There was multiple rounds of ammunition, there was a handgun, there was what appeared to be an assault rifle and there was what appeared to be an explosive device,” Early said.
It’s unclear whether the device was active and working, he said. The officer who fired their weapon has been placed on administrative leave, following department protocol.
Investigators executed a search warrant at a Hamilton Street apartment where Gouvonvong lived.
He was “very quiet, very quiet. Not somebody that really stood out,” said Chris Belsito, who owns neighboring Bubba’s Eats.
One neighbor said he saw Gouvonvong walking with a large backpack shortly before the standoff, but didn’t think much of it until he saw police outside the apartment Wednesday morning.
Louie, who lives next door, said, “When I found out he had a gun with ammunition and I was 20-30 feet away from him, that’s when it kind of hit me. Like, wow.”