BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — The wife of a man killed by police on Thursday said she told authorities there were no real firearms in her home before two officers shot him to death. Prosecutors said the man had pointed a realistic-looking BB gun at the officers before they opened fire.
Two Brockton officers shot 45-year-old Douglas Buckley early Thursday after he pulled the BB gun, which had been hidden behind his back, the Plymouth district attorney's office said.
Buckley's wife, Barbara Buckley, said later Thursday that she informed police before her husband was killed that the only weapons in her home were BB guns. She and other relatives and friends criticized the officers' actions.
"I said, 'There are BB guns in the house, but they're toys. They're fake. They look real, but they're fake,'" Barbara Buckley said, according to The Enterprise newspaper. "I said that three times."
She told The Boston Globe, "I told them there were no weapons in the house. It was the first thing out of my mouth. The next thing I hear is, 'Drop it! Drop it!'"
Messages seeking responses to Barbara Buckley's comments were left Thursday evening with District Attorney Timothy Cruz and Brockton police Chief John Crowley.
The names of the two officers haven't been released. Both were placed on paid leave, under routine shooting protocols, while state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office investigate.
Mayor Bill Carpenter said the officers are veterans and are highly regarded. He said he was confident the investigation will show their use of force was justified.
Cruz said earlier Thursday that Barbara Buckley went to the police station at about 12:30 a.m. to report that her husband had threatened to burn down a house. She also said her husband was drinking alcohol and had made other threats, Cruz said.
When officers first saw Douglas Buckley, he was holding a rifle, which police later learned was a BB gun, according to Cruz's office. Buckley dropped the rifle before reaching for the handgun that shot BBs, Cruz's office said. Officers then shot him.
Buckley family friend Michael Warner, who lives at the Buckleys' home, said he couldn't believe what happened.
"They knew that it was a BB gun. Barbara clearly warned them that the only thing in this house was a BB gun," Warner told The Enterprise. "So it was just, 'Why? Why is he shot? Why is he dead?'"