WOBURN (CBS) — Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Tuesday that MBTA police officer Dic Donohue was “likely” wounded by friendly fire in the April 2013 Watertown shootout.
Ryan made the announcement at a news conference where she released details of her office’s investigation into the shootout that left one of the Boston Marathon bombers dead and nearly killed Donohue.
Donohue received more than 40 units of blood to save his life and made a remarkable recovery. He returned to work just last month.
Ryan told reporters, it is “highly likely” Donohue was hit by gunfire from “an individual trying to stop the armed Dzhohar Tsarnaev.”
Police from several departments had converged on the area in and around Laurel Street as they attempted to corner the Tsarnaev brothers on April 19, 2013.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after getting run over by Dzhokhar, who escaped in a stolen SUV. He was captured several hours later wounded, hiding in a boat in another part of Watertown.
Watch: Marian Ryan On Friendly Fire Questions
Donohue was seriously wounded in the shootout with the brothers, but it was never made clear who shot him in the chaos.
The bullet, or possibly a fragment, according to Ryan, is still in Donohue’s leg, so it might never be known who shot him.
“It is likely that it came from the gun of one of the officers that was trying to stop Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” she said Tuesday.
“It is the finding of this office that the use of deadly force by officers on the scene was warranted and justified,” Ryan said, based upon the deadly force they were confronted with from the Tsarnaev brothers.
Donohue says the report does not take away from the heroic actions of the officers who responded to the scene.
“While the District Attorney’s report finds it likely that I was injured by friendly fire, it does not take away from the heroic actions of those officers who ultimately prevented further acts of terror on the citizens of the United States,” Donohue said in a statement. “Further, it remains clear that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are responsible for the firefight in Watertown. I harbor no regrets and am forever grateful to the police officers, firefighters, and medical professionals who saved my life on April 19th, 2013.”
The shootout came four days after two pressure-cooker bombs exploded at the marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death last month.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports: