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The latest on two Boston police officers gunned down by man with a rifle wearing body armor


UPDATE: The gunman has been identified as 33-year-old Kirk Figueroa.

Oct. 13–Two Boston police officers were shot and wounded on Gladstone Street in East Boston responding to a fight between roommates last night, leaving both officers in “extremely critical” condition, Police Commissioner William B. Evans said early this morning.

The suspect, a 33-year-old man who Evans said was armed with an assault-style rifle and ballistic body armor, was shot dead.

The shooting happened at 10:51 p.m. in Orient Heights when Boston police responding to a report of a man with a gun in a domestic dispute came under fire at 136 Gladstone St., where the slain suspect lived.

Evans said officers who entered the home on Gladstone Street were met by a “firefight.”

The two officers were hit by gunfire. As shouts of “officer down” came over the airwaves, more officers poured into the home and fired back at the suspect.

Evans confirmed a tactical police vehicle that was nearby when the shooting broke out “helped out in neutralizing the threat that was going on.”

“Officers dragged their fellow officer out of the home. … So they were in a protective zone,” Evans said. “The officers with our wounded officers were able to quickly administer first aid, apply a tourniquet. One officer had his hand in one of the wounds.

“All of our officers exhibited extreme courage and bravery in a situation that we all too often never know what to expect and that is a domestic call,” Evans said. “Our officers were real brave here tonight. I just want everyone to pray … Let’s just hope they pull through.”

Speaking outside Massachusetts General Hospital early this morning, Evans said of the wounded officers, “One is in the OR (operating room) and the other is going up there shortly.”

The officers, both male, are a 28-year veteran and a 12-year veteran. He described their wounds as “very serious,” saying doctors had told him they were “extremely critical.”

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, also at Mass General this morning, said, “This job is a tough job. And often times, people don’t look at the other side of what happens with police officers.”

Police swarmed on Gladstone Street as the incident unfolded, initially asking neighbors to shelter in place while they searched for another suspect, even as the slain man lay on the street.

Just after midnight, a Boston police tweet stated: “Shelter-in-place has been lifted. One suspect has been located. Scene is secure. Residents kindly asked to remain inside.” Police later determined that person was not a suspect.

Police also tweeted: “As incident continues to unfold in East Boston, we kindly ask our community members to pray for our injured officers.”

In addition to the the two injured officers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Evans said that nine officers who were involved in the gunfight or helped treat the wounded officers were at Tufts Medical Center being treated for stress.

A neighbor on Gladstone Street who was interviewed by police said he and his sister were on their back porch having a cigarette when she heard what sounded like gunfire. He said he paused to listen to it and the shots just kept on coming.

“It sounded like construction equipment, like they were just working on the street, that’s how long it went on. It just kept going,” he said.

“I ran inside and grabbed my sister and we all got down on the floor.”

He estimated as many as 50 gunshots were fired.

He said moments later he walked outside and found a man wearing nothing but boxer shorts laying down in his driveway. He said the man told him he had run from the house when the gunfire started. He was later taken by police in the back of a cruiser.

Residents were stunned by the massive police presence that descended on their neighborhood.

“Every cop in the city went by, it was crazy” said Orient Heights resident Brian Boyce.

Another East Boston resident said officers searched his family’s house on Breed Street. Boyce said he saw a SWAT team with a battering ram trying to break down another house’s door.

District Attorney Daniel Conley, speaking at Mass General early this morning, said he went to the scene in East Boston. Conley said his chief homicide prosecutor will thoroughly investigate thefatal use-of-force incident.

“We will do a very thorough and transparent investigation into these events to determine what happened,” Conley said. “It’s going to take some time because the two individuals who probably know most about what happened tonight are behind us at Mass General fighting for their lives.”


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