New Bedford residents are reacting to the fatal shooting of a teen accused of stabbing a New Bedford Gang Unit Detective on Thursday night.
Maclolm Gracia is accused of stabbing Gang Unit Detective Tyson Barnes multiple times using what is described by investigators as a hunting knife with a gutting hook. Detective Barnes is recovering in the hospital. The Mayor of New Bedford calls it a tragedy for the city.
Meanwhile, Gracia's family has remained reserved in their words.
"I want it to be known he was a good kid," said cousin, Danielle.
Witnesses near the scene at Temple Landing Housing Development describe hearing almost a dozen gunshots around 8:30 on Thursday night.
"When the gunshots cleared, I looked outside there was an officer literally on my doorstep you know holding his chest, looked like he had been stabbed," said a witness who would identify himself only as Andre. "There was a young kid on the ground maybe 15 feet away from the officer who was shot and killed."
The District Attorney says Detective Barnes, wearing plainclothes, approached Gracia and a friend, to talk with them. he says the teen stabbed Detective Barnes repeatedly.
Sutter says other police officers in the area ordered the teen to the ground, and when he refused, they fired six bullets.
"After being knocked to the ground following the shots, the assailant returned to his feet still armed with a knife and moved toward the officers," said District Attorney Sutter. "Officers again fired at the stabber, striking him and then knocking him to the ground."
In a terrible twist, Gracia's father was killed in a similar way back in August 2009.
Police confirm to FOX 25 that Gracia is the son of Joseph Ramos, who was killed during an altercation with Dartmouth Police in August 2009.
According to a 2010 article from the Boston Globe, an investigation by Sutter's office into Ramos' death found that police were justified in using deadly force against Ramos. Officers allege that Ramos, who suffered from a neurological disorder, jumped on an officer responding to calls from neighbors who complained about the 42-year-old's unusual behavior.
Investigators tell the newspaper Ramos was on top of the officer, pointing his hands in a stabbing motion toward his chest. Another officer then released his dog on Ramos. Once the dog was called off, Ramos allegedly approached the other officer who then shot him in the chest. Police claim they found a screwdriver in Ramos' hand.
The family has filed suit in that case.
Gracia was 15, but attending middle school at the Whaling City Alternative School in New Bedford. His former teacher, Nick Baptist, says Gracia was a bright kid, but troubled.
"He was a very smart young man, but there were definitely a few things where he had problems in the past it's just one of those situations where it's just really unfortunate and sad," says Baptist.