Two veteran Boston police officers were critically injured, and nine others were sent to the hospital after Kurt Figueroa, a bounty hunter and Army Reserve veteran, opened fire with an assault rifle in East Boston, NBC News reports.
Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters that Figueroa was wearing body armor and carrying an assault rifle when police responded to a domestic disturbance call around 11 p.m. According to police, when they officers arrived at the scene of two male roommates involved with the domestic disturbance, Figueroa opened fire inside the home.
Two officers assisted with getting the two critically injured officers out of the home, including one with multiple gunshot wounds, Evans told reporters. One of the officers used his hand to apply pressure to one the more serious wounds until the ambulance arrived and quickly rushed them to Massachusetts General Hospital.
“At that time, they were able to neutralize the subject who was armed with some kind of assault rifle.”
The officers had to use deadly force as a result of the gunfire during the “hectic scene.”
“All of the officers, I think, exhibited extreme courage and bravery in a situation that we all too often never know what to expect.”
As of early Thursday morning, both officers are in extremely critical condition, and one has life-threatening injuries. The shooter’s two roommates were moved to safety with no injuries. Nine additional officers were taken to Tufts Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries. They were all released from the hospital on Thursday.
“We had to do what we had to do. I commend the officers. They moved in and neutralized the threat pretty quick (so) that no one else got killed.”
Daniel Conley, the Suffolk County District Attorney, said that a thorough investigation would be conducted since the officers were forced to use deadly force against the suspect.
“It’s going to take some time because the two individuals that probably know most about this event are behind us at Mass General fighting for their lives.”
The Boston Globe reports that the officers who were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in critical condition have successfully been through surgery, but they still remain in critical condition.
Evans and Mayor Martin J. Walsh were visiting the nine other injured officers this morning.
“Our prayers are with the two wounded officers and nine other officers treated for stress after the shootout with a suspect inside a home on Gladstone Street in East Boston.”
Figueroa was a Certified Homeland Protection Professional, who was also certified as a jail guard. He was the founder of Code Blue Protection Corp. It was revealed that the Figueroa was an Army Reserve veteran and a constable in the city of Boston since April. In the Army Reserves, he was a part of the military police unit and was approved to be a California bounty hunter.
Police are working with investigators to determine what motivated Figueroa to put on body armor and open fire at the police when they were responding to the domestic disturbance call.
The house will be blocked off until the investigation has been completed.
Andreas Rodriguez watched the police as they arrived at the scene after sirens interrupted his television show.
“It just impacted me because this is one of the best neighborhoods in the area. I said, ‘Wow!’ Orient Heights. Gladstone Street. It’s behind the Madonna. It’s a nice quiet neighborhood.”
Evans described the horrific event in more detail.
“We heard officers screaming on the radio ‘303!’ The officers were screaming ‘officer down,’ prompting more officers to rush inside.”
Code 303 is what officers use when shots are fired.
Lizzy Guyton, Governor Charlie Baker’s communications director, made a statement in regard to last night’s shooting.
“Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito are shocked and saddened to learn of last night’s horrific incident and their thoughts and prayers are with the police officers and their families.”
Just a few short hours before the shooting, the police were honoring an officer who lost his life in the line of duty back in the 1970s.
[Featured Image by Charles Krupa/AP Images]