This story was reported by Globe correspondents Colin A. Young, Adam Sege, Wesley Lowery, and Melanie Dostis and by Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff. It was written by Andersen.
A traffic stop turned deadly Tuesday evening when Boston police shot and killed a man who fled from a car in the South End after he led officers on a foot chase and refused orders to drop a gun he was pointing at them, authorities said.
Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said the incident began shortly after 5:45 p.m. when officers stopped a vehicle and the suspect fled. Two officers chased him on Yarmouth Place for a couple of blocks, and he refused their demands to drop the gun he was pointing in their direction, police said.
A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said that the man was shot in an alley on Yarmouth Place, which is located near the Back Bay/South End MBTA stop.
Authorities did not explain why the vehicle was stopped, but Davis did say that the man had been alone in the car.
One of the officers fired one round from a service weapon and struck the man in the chest, Davis said. Boston police said in a statement that the man, who has not been identified, pointed his gun in the officers’ direction.
The suspect was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center.
This is a “very active investigation,” Davis said at the scene. Investigators were looking at surveillance video and talking to witnesses Tuesday night.
Davis said the two officers who pursued the suspect were taken to a hospital for treatment, as well, though neither one was seriously injured.
A man who said he witnessed the foot chase said that a woman holding shopping bags tried to trip the suspect as he ran and slowed him up a little. He said a shot rang out soon afterward.
“When we heard the shot, we ran the other way,” said the man, who declined to give his name because he feared for his safety.
Police said the shooting was initially reported near 130 Dartmouth St.
Nearly a dozen police officers stood guard outside Boston Medical Center as family members of the victim spoke with police inside.
The officers left at approximately 7:20 p.m., and a distraught, middle-aged woman exited the hospital about 40 minutes later.
A crowd of people consoled the woman, whom bystanders identified as the slain man’s cousin, outside the emergency room before she was driven away in a van.
“The police are wrong,” the woman said before the van pulled on to Albany Street.
Near the scene of the shooting Tuesday night, Columbus Avenue was lined with police vehicles.
“I’ve never seen so many cops,” said Lucinda Brown, 41.
She said the neighborhood is usually safe.
“People walk around here at night all the time,” she said. “It’s fine.”
Melvin King Jr., a neighborhood resident and son of the civil rights activist and former mayoral candidate, said he has lived in the neighborhood for at least a decade. He said there used to be more incidents of violence.
He said Tuesday night’s shooting was alarming, but he does not fear for his safety.
“It wasn’t like it was people around here who perpetrated it,” he said.
Last September, Boston police were involved in the fatal shooting of a 44-year-old man in Rockland who had led officers on a wild car chase down the Southeast Expressway as the morning rush hour was winding down. Police said the driver struck at least two police cruisers.
Prior to that case, Boston police shot and killed a man in June of 2011 who had fired at them during a domestic violence call in Dorchester.
contributed to this report.
Travis Andersen can be
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