Police: Man with assault rifle, body armour shot two Boston officers

Police officers responding to a domestic disturbance were shot at, and two officers seriously injured. Photo / AP
Police officers responding to a domestic disturbance were shot at, and two officers seriously injured. Photo / AP

A man wearing body armour and armed with an assault rifle shot two Boston police officers who were responding to a report of a domestic disturbance, before being shot and killed by other officers, police said.

The two wounded officers were hospitalised in "extremely critical condition" early Thursday morning (EDT).

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

Evans said the suspect fired at the officers late Wednesday night shortly after they arrived at a home in the city's East Boston neighbourhood. Several other officers who were stationed outside ran inside and exchanged gunfire with the suspect.

"Two of the officers dragged their fellow officers out of the line of fire so they were in a protected zone, and the officers continued to engage in a gun exchange," Evans said.

The officers shot and killed the suspect and then began administering first aid to the wounded officers, one a 28-year veteran, the other a 12-year veteran of the force.

Police search for a suspect after a police shooting in the East Boston neighbourhood of Boston, Massachusetts.
Police search for a suspect after a police shooting in the East Boston neighbourhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

"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.

Both officers were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where they were being treated for serious injuries. Nine other officers were being treated at Tufts Medical Center for trauma, stress and minor injuries.

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

Police did not identify the suspect or 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.

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