BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A suspect in a motor vehicle stop opened fire on police on Friday evening and seriously wounded a decorated officer before being killed by other officers at the scene, authorities said. An apparent bystander also was shot.
Officer John Moynihan, 34, was shot just below his right eye and was in critical condition in an induced coma fighting for his life at a hospital, police Commissioner William Evans said.
Other officers returned fire and killed the suspect at the scene, Evans said. A woman at the scene suffered a flesh wound to her right arm and was in good spirits, and three other officers were taken to a hospital with stress-related problems, he said.
The names of the suspect and the wounded woman weren’t immediately released.
Moynihan is on the police Youth Violence Task Force and is a highly decorated military veteran, Evans said.
He is a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq and was honored at the White House in May as a recipient of the National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award. Moynihan received a Top Cop award for being one of the first responders in Watertown following the April 2013 gunbattle with the Boston Marathon bombers.
Moynihan had helped transit police Officer Richard Donohue, who was shot in the leg and nearly bled to death when police tried to apprehend Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Lieutenant Michael McCarthy said.
“The officer here is in tough shape, but we’re all pulling for him, and hopefully he’ll pull through,” Evans said. “His family’s with him, the clergy has been here and … let’s pray for him.”
Evans said the police officers, part of a gang unit, pulled the vehicle over for a routine stop. One of three people in the car got out, opened fire on the officers and was killed, he said.
Police were interviewing the other two people in the car, and it was too early to say whether criminal charges would be filed against them, he said.
Witnesses tell WBZ-TV they heard 10-20 gunshots. “I heard multiple gunshots,” Rajon Porter said. “At first I thought it was like an AK (assault rifle) or something. That’s how loud it sounded.”
WBZ-TV’s Julie Loncich reports
“This had to be a gun battle between the cops and whoever else,” Porter said.
Such shootings are rare in Boston, but firearms are a major concern in the city, the commissioner said.
“We’ve got way too many guns out there, way too many young kids running around with the guns,” he said, “and unfortunately this is what happens.”
Mayor Marty Walsh said his thoughts and prayers were with the injured officer, his family and the police department.
“These acts of violence have no place in our neighborhoods,” Walsh said. “Our community is stronger than ever, and tonight we are thankful for all of those who put their lives on the on the line every day to protect our city.”
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)