BOSTON (CBS) – With a flow of people asking how they can help the Boston Police Department after two officers were shot late Wednesday night, the department is urging the public to donate blood.
Officer Richard Cintolo and Officer Matt Morris remain hospitalized in stable but critical condition following a shootout on Gladstone Street in East Boston just before 11 p.m.
Police say 33-year-old Kirk Figueroa opened fire with a tactical shotgun, hitting two officers multiple times. Figueroa was then shot and killed by police.
The officers were rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital and spent the night in surgery. Each officer received several blood transfusions to save their lives.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans stressed how important it is to give blood during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
“I think we realize more than ever the need of stepping forward to the American Red Cross,” said Evans. “If it wasn’t for the blood that both officers were given quickly last night, I don’t think both officers would have survived.”
Former Transit Police Officer Dic Donohue was the recipient of critical blood transfusions after he was caught in the crossfire during a shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers days after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Donohue needed so much blood that police escorts transported it from around the region.
Since then, Donohue has advocated for the importance of donated blood.
Donohue reacted to the news of Wednesday’s police shooting on Twitter.
In an interview with WBZ-TV, Donohue recalled hearing the news about Wednesday’s incident, and said it brought back memories from his own shooting.
“It’s an instant shock, and then your thoughts, prayers and hopes, you’re just praying for everything to go well after the fact,” said Donohue.
“Very similar to my situation. It definitely rings true. But from what I hear, it looks like the training and the tools that went into the Marathon and my shooting hopefully helped to save the officers’ lives.”
Evans added that over the next several weeks, the department will work with the American Red Cross and Boston Police Patrolman’s Association to spread the word of how important it is to donate blood.