A state trooper who was part of a highway-shutting blockade to corral stunting dirt bikers and ATV riders on I-93 last year now faces felony charges for shooting one of them in the foot with a rifle.
A Suffolk County grand jury today indicted Trooper Matthew Sheehan on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon for his actions on Feb. 24, 2018 at the Massachusetts Avenue exit, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
During the course of an extensive investigation, Suffolk County prosecutors and State Police detectives assigned to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office determined Trooper Sheehan fired two rounds. One of the bullets entered the side of the ATV’s tire, not the front. The angle at which the bullet struck the tire indicates the ATV was parallel to Trooper Sheehan, not heading towards him, thus not presenting the imminent danger that would permit the use potentially deadly force in self-defense.
According to the DA's office, of the 13 troopers and police officers on the highway trying to block in stunters "operating in a reckless manner," only Sheehan got out a semi-automatic rifle rather than relying on his service gun.
The DA's office says that Sheehan is scheduled for arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on Oct. 10.
The office adds that eight people were arrested that day.