BRAINTREE — Two police officers were in surgery after being shot multiple times, a K-9 was killed, and a suspect was dead after an exchange of gunfire early Friday afternoon in woods near an apartment complex where police had responded to a call for a domestic disturbance, according to officials.
It appeared both officers will recover, said Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey at an afternoon press conference. A police K9 named Kitt, a 12-year veteran of the force, however, was fatally shot by the suspect, he said.
Morrissey’s office identified the suspect Friday night as Andrew Homen, 34, of Brockton. He was well known to police, and there were warrants out for his arrest at the time of the shooting, Morrissey said.
Homen was taken to Milton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Braintree police officers received a call reporting a domestic disturbance on McCusker Drive in Braintree at about 12:45 p.m., Morrissey said, and they spoke to the alleged victim.
“Information was conveyed to police” that Homen had fled into a wooded area, Morrissey said.
Morrissey said three officers and the dog followed Homen into the wooded area and made it about 75 yards before coming under fire.
“They were essentially ambushed at that point,” said Braintree Police Chief Mark Dubois at the press conference.
The dog was struck in one of the initial rounds of fire, Morrissey said, and two of the “officers were struck as they returned fire in the direction of the suspect.”
One officer was taken to a local hospital and the other to a Boston hospital.
“We’re hoping for the best,” Morrissey said of the officers.
“We think things look pretty good, but they are in surgery,” he said. “Say a prayer because this shows you how dangerous this job can be.”
The confrontation happened in the woods behind some homes on Commercial Street.
Robert Cooke, who lives in one of the homes, said he was watching television when suddenly he heard several gunshots ring out.
“I thought it was fireworks for a couple of seconds, but it was persistent and that’s when I knew it was gunshots,” he said.
He said he heard “a dozen or more” shots fired.
Cooke stepped out onto his deck where he said he could hear the officers and the suspect shouting to each other.
“I could hear the police yelling at somebody ‘Get down! Get down!’ And the guy — the perpetrator — I could hear him saying, ‘What did I do? What did I do?’” Cooke said.
He watched as police cruisers pulled up in front of his home and saw officers run into the woods with their weapons.
The scene had begun to clear by evening. But yellow police tape could still be seen through the thick woods behind Cooke’s home, where authorities continued to investigate.
Cooke said he has heard gunshots fired in the area only a few times since he moved there in 2018.
“[But} I know that apartment complex, there’s always a cop car in there, making sure things are tamped down,” he said.
At the press conference, Dubois said the domestic disturbance call evolved over about a half hour.
“It came in as a verbal domestic initially, and then as the officers arrived it escalated to the point where the person fled and had multiple firearms,” Dubois said.
The officers were not identified, but Dubois said one of them has been a police officer for 10 years and the other for six years.
“One of the officers has been a longtime friend and someone who has been very active in the town,” Morrissey said.
“It’s tragic for us for our K9,” Dubois said. “That dog is incredible. Very successful 12-year veteran of the police department, partnered with the same officer for that entire time. It’s heartbreaking.”
Kitt was wrapped in an American flag and carried by six officers from the scene past saluting officers to a waiting vehicle, according to video on WCVB-TV.
A bundle of flowers and a stuffed toy dog were placed outside the police department’s entrance Friday evening.
Ross Elementary School and East Middle School went into lockdown for about 45 minutes during the incident Friday afternoon, Dubois said. Both schools are within a mile of the scene.
Boston police voiced support for their wounded colleagues in Braintree via Twitter.
“The men and women of the BPD are asking our employees and all residents of Boston to pray for the @BraintreePolice,” Boston police tweeted.
John R. Ellement and Travis Andersen of the Globe staff and correspondent Adam Sennott contributed to this report.