Gunfire broke out between Boston police and an armed man who allegedly fired several rounds at officers on a busy South End street Saturday afternoon, Police Commissioner William G. Gross said.
Tyler Brown, 40, of Boston, was apprehended along Massachusetts Avenue, where he had fled on foot after police responded to a report of a person with a gun on nearby Northampton Street around 2:15 p.m., according to Gross.
Brown shot at officers, who returned fire, he said.
“Being in fear of their lives, as well as the pedestrians — the people that are on these streets with their families ... they returned fire,” Gross said told reporters at a late afternoon press conference near the shooting scene.
“They discharged their weapon at the suspect to stop the threat," he said.
But Brown continued to flee, and fired his gun at officers until he was out of rounds, Gross said.
It is unclear if Boston police returned fire a second time. There were no injuries to either the suspect or police officers involved in the pursuit, Gross said.
As he was taken into custody, the man continued to struggle violently with officers, Gross said.
“He was fighting all the way, even to the point, where they put him in the police wagon, he was fighting the officers,” he said.
Brown was charged with assault with intent to murder, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence, and several other gun-related charges, the department said.
He is due to be arraigned Monday in Boston Municipal Court.
Brown had been released from prison in January, Gross said.
As he has recently done, Gross again criticized the state’s judiciary for releasing inmates or pre-trial detainees due to health risks posed by COVID-19. He recently joined a coalition of clergy members and residents to call for more attention to be paid to gun violence amid the pandemic.
“You are setting the mentality on the street that people can do whatever they want because they’re going to get smacked on the wrist,” he said.
Over the last several weeks, many suspects who were arrested on gun charges in Boston have been released on a low bail or after a single day in jail, he said.
“You folks over there — this is your neighborhood,” he said to people who stood by watching the press briefing. “Nobody should be releasing repeat violent offenders that will act like this. This is unheard of.”
The shooting disrupted an otherwise peaceful Saturday afternoon in the South End.
Officers responded to a report of a person with a gun near 134 Northampton St. around 2:15 p.m. Police found a man who “fit [the] description that was given to them by people who were threatened by that suspect,” Gross said.
After refusing to speak to police, the man fled down Massachusetts Avenue toward Chester Park and began shooting at the officers, according to Gross.
Four officers involved in the shooting were not injured, but were taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Gross said he had spoken to Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins about the shooting.
“We’re highly upset at this," Gross said.
The shooting remains under investigation.