Boston police officer honored for response to marathon bombing improving after shooting

A Boston police officer honored for heroism in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings was upgraded from critical to stable condition Sunday after he was shot at point blank range during a shootout with a suspect Friday night.

The Boston Police Department said in a statement that Officer John Moynihan, 34, underwent several hours of successful surgery to remove a bullet from his neck. He is expected to be moved from the intensive care unit within the next few days.

On Sunday morning, Saint Patrick's Parish in Roxbury held a special service for Officer Moynihan and his family. Many police officers and others attended.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said surveillance footage showed Moynihan being shot by Angelo West, 41, as Moynihan approached West's car after responding to a report of shots fired.

Evans said West continued firing at the other officers as he tried to run away, emptying his .357 Magnum handgun, and was killed at the scene when police returned fire. West had a violent criminal past with several prior gun convictions, according to Evans.

A unidentified woman driving by the scene suffered a minor injury and was expected to make a full recovery.

Moynihan is a highly decorated military veteran and former Army Ranger who served in Iraq. He's a part of the police department's Youth Violence Task Force and was honored at the White House last year for being one of the nation's top cops. He was given the title for being one of the first responders in Watertown during the shootout with the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.

Officer Dic Donohue of the MBTA Transit Police, who was injured during the Watertown shootout, told FOX25 Saturday that "it's never easy when you hear an officer has been critically wounded, especially when it's someone you have a personal connection with."

He went on to say Moynihan "played a part in saving my life, and that's something I will never forget."

Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement calling Moynihan a Boston hero.

"My thoughts and prayers continue to be with Officer John Moynihan, his family, friends, the innocent person caught in the crossfire, and the entire community impacted by Friday night's violence," the statement read. It is clear that Officer Moynihan is a hero for our city, and the entire nation, and today we are thankful for all of those who put their lives on the line every day to protect us."

Click for more from