A veteran Springfield police officer responding to a domestic incident was fatally shot this afternoon by a New York City corrections officer who then critically wounded his girlfriend and apparently killed himself, authorities said today.
Kevin Ambrose, a 36-year member of the force, responded to 90 Lawton St. to assist Charlene Mitchell, 29. Ambrose met outside with Mitchell and Shawn Bryan, a Rikers Island corrections officer, Springfield Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet said at a news conference.
After a brief conversation with the couple but before other officers arrived, Ambrose went upstairs to an apartment with them. At the door of the apartment, Bryan shoved Mitchell inside and went inside with her, shutting out Ambrose, Fitchet said.
As Ambrose tried to gain entry, Bryan shot him through the door, hitting him once. Bryan opened the door and shot Ambrose again, Fitchet said.
Bryant then shot Mitchell, left the apartment, and proceeded to his own car, where he shot himself in the chest, Fitchet said.
Ambrose had worked for two years as a police cadet, in addition to his years on the force, meaning he had served the city for 38 years, Fitchet said. Ambrose leaves behind a wife, two children, and one granddaughter, he said.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said at the news conference, “We grieve this remarkable officer. The whole city mourns the loss of Officer Kevin Ambrose.”
He said the city extends “the deepest sympathy” to Ambrose’s family and the incident “shows the perils that our men and women in blue face every day.”
Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni said, “He served as a hero. ... His actions today made him a hero. He will remain in our thoughts always.”
The property manager for the building said the complex is generally peaceful.
“This is a very rare occasion,’’ said the manager, who would not identify herself by name.
Between 90 to 100 tenants live in the four buildings that make up the complex, she said.