Massachusetts police robot dog ‘Rosco’ shot during standoff with armed suspect
Massachusetts police robot dog ‘Rosco’ shot during standoff with armed suspect

News from the USA


A Massachusetts State Police robot dog was shot multiple times by an armed suspect during a tense standoff with cops earlier this month, according to police.

Troopers from the agency’s bomb squad rushed to a home in Barnstable, Cape Cod, on March 6 to assist SWAT and local police who responded to a report of a man allegedly holding his mother hostage at knifepoint .

The mother and another resident were able to lock themselves in another part of the residence as the suspect, identified by Barnstable police as 30-year-old Justin Moreira, barricaded himself inside and fired a shotgun at officers.

The department’s mental health clinician tried to convince Moreira to leave the home peacefully, but he refused and continued to shoot officers intermittently.

Roscoe was shot three times by the suspect, which disabled the robot, according to police. MSP
The robot dog was deployed after the suspect held his mother at knifepoint and fired at officers. MSP

A four-legged robot dog nicknamed “Rosco” was sent to search the home for the suspect, the MSP said in a news release on Wednesday. The robot, remotely controlled by soldiers, spotted Moreira when he “suddenly emerged from a bedroom armed with a rifle.”

Moreira knocked Roscoe down and started up the stairs from the bedroom, police said. But the self-healing robot continued to pursue the human.

“When the suspect realized, with apparent surprise, that Roscoe was behind him on the stairs, he knocked the robot down again and then raised his shotgun in Roscoe’s direction,” police said. “The robot suddenly lost communication.”

Police later learned that Roscoe had been shot three times by the suspect and was incapacitated. After shooting Roscoe, Moreira allegedly fired at a second robot in front of the home’s sliding door, but instead hit an above-ground pool in the backyard.

The robot spotted the suspect coming out of his bedroom before firing several shots at him. MSP
Roscoe was taken to Boston Dynamics for damage assessment. WCVB

After seven hours of negotiations, he still refused to come outside, even after the SWAT team filled the house with pepper spray. He was eventually taken into custody without injury.

Moreira was charged with several counts of attempted murder, as well as additional firearms charges, according to police.

“The incident provided a prime example of the advantages of mobile platforms capable of opening doors and climbing stairs in tactical missions involving armed suspects,” state police wrote in the news release.

Police said the use of the robot “may have prevented an officer from engaging in an exchange of gunfire.”

State police took Roscoe to the manufacturer, Boston Dynamics, to assess the damage. The company said it wants to keep the robot for research and police are looking to replace it.




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