The officer who fired a pepper-spray pellet that killed a woman in a raucous crowd of Red Sox fans was aiming at another fan but missed, police said Friday.
Police on Friday also identified the shooter as Officer Rochefort Milien.
In an update of its investigation into the death of Victoria Snelgrove, police said Milien fired his pellet gun at a fan during an Oct. 21 disturbance, but missed. The shot hit Snelgrove in the eye, fatally injuring her.
“Victoria Snelgrove was not targeted; she was struck when the projectile missed its intended target,” the statement said.
Milien is on paid injury leave from the department, a person close to the investigation told Associated Press.
Snelgrove, a 21-year-old Emerson College student, was among thousands of fans who flocked to Kenmore Square and Fenway Park to celebrate when the Red Sox beat the New York Yankees for the American League pennant.
Messages left for police union officials were not immediately returned Friday night. Attempts to find a telephone number for Milien were unsuccessful.
The investigation indicates at least four people were hit by the projectiles, including Snelgrove. Milien, a grenadier assigned to the Special Operations unit, is certified to train officers on the use of the weapon.
Police spokesman David Estrada said there would be no comment beyond the statement.
Deputy Supt. Robert E. O’Toole Jr. authorized the use of the pellet gun known as the FN303, which is made by FN Herstal. O’Toole fired the weapons at specific individuals, as did Officers Samil Silta and Milien. Milien was 25 to 30 feet away from Snelgrove when he shot her, police said.