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Trooper shoots man to death at traffic stop

The trooper had noticed a 2002 BMW 320i speeding on the southbound side of Interstate 91 at about 12:20 a.m. and pulled the car over on the side of the road in Chicopee, said state police spokesman David Procopio.

The driver, a 23-year-old Springfield man, became combative after the trooper asked for his license and registration and got into “physical altercation” with the officer, Procopio said in a news release.

The officer then fired his weapon, striking the man. At that point, his passenger, a 22-year-old woman, fled from the car.

As the trooper was radioing in the incident to a dispatcher, the BMW drove away, crashing a short time later into a protective barrier, police said.

The trooper and other responding officers administered first aid at the scene, and both the driver and passenger were taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, according to the release.

The driver was pronounced dead. The woman was treated for a cut on her arm that Procopio said she apparently received while getting out of the car. He said it does not appear she was shot.

Police said they found .25-caliber handgun on the driver’s seat of the BMW and a loaded .40-caliber handgun under the driver’s seat. Both guns had obliterated serial numbers, police said. The names of those involved were not released.

The trooper is assigned to the Springfield barracks and joined the department in 2012 after graduating from the police academy, Procopio said. The trooper has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

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