Massachusetts

2 Boston police officers wounded by gunman clad in body armor

Officers in critical condition after being shot multiple times by a man with an assault rifle, body armor

 

Two Boston police officers were “critical but stable” after a man wearing body armor and armed with a tactical shotgun shot them multiple times, police said Thursday.

Police Commissioner William Evans said the suspect, identified as 33-year-old Kirk Figueroa, fired at the officers late Wednesday night after they arrived at an East Boston home. Several other officers who were stationed outside ran inside and exchanged fire with the gunman.

"Domestic calls, as you know, are probably the most volatile. You never really know what you're walking into," Evans said. "And I think we see right now the dangers of our job."

The officers shot and killed Figueroa and then began giving first aid to the wounded officers, 27-year veteran Richard Cintolo and 12-year veteran Matt Morris. Morris was hit in a main artery in his leg and Evans credits a fellow officer applying a tourniquet with saving Morris' life.

"One officer had his hand in one of the wounds and I think that was instrumental in getting the officer down to Mass General quickly," Evans said.

Figueroa did not have a license to carry a gun in Boston. He worked as a constable, mostly delivering subpoenas, Evans said. Figueroa may have previously been arrested for impersonating a police officer and arson outside of Boston, Evans said.

Both officers underwent surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital for serious injuries. Nine other officers were being treated at Tufts Medical Center for trauma, stress and minor injuries.

Neither officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest or a body camera, Evans said.

Police, initially concerned that there might be a second suspect, ordered residents to shelter in place. That order was later lifted.

Police did not identify the two wounded officers.

As is standard protocol following such events, the district attorney's office said there would be an investigation into the use of deadly force.

"They ran into a firefight here, able to pull two of their officers out safely, and again unfortunately, we had to take a life in doing it," Evans said.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh joined Evans at the hospital. He asked that the community "pray for our officers."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.