Former New Bedford interim fire chief killed in shootout, police officer wounded

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FAIRHAVEN — A former New Bedford interim Fire Chief was fatally shot in a confrontation with police that also left an officer wounded outside a local bar Friday night, authorities reported.

Paul Coderre, who had served as the interim fire chief, was at the Bayside Lounge on Sconticut Neck Road before the incident occurred.

According to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, the police were summoned to the bar after Coderre was involved in an altercation around 5 p.m.

Quinn detailed that Coderre attempted to get into his vehicle when another individual intervened, leading to a physical dispute in the parking lot.

Officers from Fairhaven, Acushnet, and Mattapoisett arrived on the scene to defuse the situation.

However, Coderre discharged his firearm, prompting law enforcement to return fire and ultimately resulting in his death.

During the exchange of gunfire, an Acushnet officer was shot in the leg.

He was transported to a hospital for treatment and was later reported to be at home recovering, officials said in a pre-10 p.m. press briefing.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell described the event as “tragic in every sense” and expressed relief that the injured officer was expected to recover fully.

Massachusetts State Representative Steve Xiarhos echoed the sentiment, extending thoughts to the injured officer and their family.

As part of the investigation, police have placed evidence markers around the parking lot of the bar.

Local residents told Boston 25 that they heard a series of gunshots.

One, Bob Conlin, recounted hearing a series of loud noises distinct from firecrackers.

Coderre was dismissed from his position in 2022 due to allegations of dishonesty related to work injuries.

A statement on the New Bedford city website outlined an investigation that revealed Coderre engaging in activities that contradicted his claimed injuries.

The ongoing investigation into the shooting is being led by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police.

Further information will be provided as the story develops.

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