BOSTON (CBS) – As news spread that the conditions of the two officers who were shot in East Boston had improved, their community at St. Joseph & Lazarus Church felt its prayers answered.
In the crowd of more than 100 was Officer Richard Cintolo’s cousin. “It’s a great feeling to know that our community can just come together in times like this,” said Jennifer Viola. “We appreciate it a lot.”READ MORE: Keller @ Large: In Politics, Gender Still Matters
Jennifer Viola’s worst fears were confirmed the morning following the shooting on Gladstone Street, when she learned her cousin and his fellow officer, Matt Morris, had been shot multiple times by Kirk Figueroa.
“Anybody from East Boston will tell you, if you’re going to get pulled over, you want to get pulled over by him,” Viola said. “He’s just a great man, he has a big heart, he’s a great family man. He’s just really a great person.”
Commissioner William Evans has visited his officers every day.
“I’m just thankful, honestly, that these two officers are making such remarkable progress,” Evans said.READ MORE: Brigham & Women's Dermatology Program Offers Specialized Care For Patients Of Color
The two responded to a domestic call last Wednesday, but when they arrived, police say they were ambushed. Responding officers acted swiftly.
“One particular officer stood between the individual who had already shot our officers and protected the officers and continued to give them cover while the other officers were able to safely remove the other two,” Evans said.
Evans admits it’s been a difficult few days for all those involved.
“They all realize they’re very lucky to be here today,” Evans said.MORE NEWS: Massachusetts Reports 68 New COVID Cases, 5 Additional Deaths
As the mass ended, churchgoers clapped and shook hands with the officers who were leaving.