Police in Braintree are hopeful the second officer shot in a firefight Friday will be released from the hospital “in the coming days,” according to the Norfolk district attorney’s office.
Officer Bill Cushing, who authorities say was shot multiple times in his limbs, continued to recover in a South Shore hospital Sunday.
Cushing and another officer, Matthew Donoghue, were shot while responding to a reported domestic disturbance at the Braintree Village apartment complex Friday afternoon. Cushing’s K9 partner, Kitt, was shot and killed.
Cushing’s release “is dependent on the success of the treatment he is undergoing,” said David Traub, a spokesman for the district attorney, in an e-mail Sunday.
Braintree Police Chief Mark Dubois said Saturday that a service will be planned for Kitt. Cushing was Kitt’s handler for 12 years, Dubois said.
“We’re going to have a ceremony of some sort once Officer Cushing is released from the hospital,” he said. “We’ll make those arrangements and we’ll certainly make that available to everybody once we have time to plan.”
Dubois said the department has seen an outpouring of support for the injured officers and their loss of Kitt. The department set up a GoFundMe in Kitt’s name to raise money for the Braintree Police Working Dog Foundation.
The suspect, identified as 34-year-old Andrew Homen, was pronounced dead at Milton Hospital following the incident Friday afternoon.
Donoghue, who was also shot multiple times, was released Saturday from Boston Medical Center, where he was met by a group of fellow officers as he exited the hospital with his right arm in a sling.
The district attorney’s office declined to share specific details of the Friday incident, citing the ongoing investigation.
“Over the coming days and weeks, we will be interviewing all of the remaining witnesses, receiving and reviewing any forensic reports, and it may be weeks or months before we have a signed final autopsy report establishing [the] cause and manner of [Homen’s] death,” Traub said.
State Police Colonel Christopher Mason issued a statement Sunday honoring the Braintree officers, as well as Worcester Police Officer Emmanuel Familia, who died Friday while trying to save a teenage boy from drowning in a pond. Familia and the boy, 14-year-old Troy Love, both drowned.
“They have modeled for us what is noble and right about law enforcement: service to others above self,” Mason said.
On Friday, police were responding to a 911 call reporting a domestic disturbance in an apartment at Braintree Village on McCusker Drive at 12:45 p.m. When officers arrived, the alleged victim said Homen had fled into the woods behind the apartment building.
The situation “evolved over about a half-hour period of time,” Dubois told reporters at the scene Friday.
“It came in as a verbal domestic initially, and then as officers arrived it escalated to the point where the person fled and had multiple firearms,” Dubois said.
Officers from Quincy and Weymouth also responded to the scene. Police set up a perimeter around the wooded area and called for a K9 to assist in the search, Dubois said. When they arrived, Kitt led Cushing, Donoghue, and a third officer into the woods.
They made it about 75 yards before coming under fire.
A witness, Robert Cooke, whose backyard abuts the woods where the shooting occurred, said he heard at least a dozen shots fired. He said heard officers shouting to Homen, “Get down! Get down!” and Homen responding “What did I do? What did I do?”
WCVB-TV reported that Homen’s girlfriend issued a statement Saturday thanking the officers and wishing them a speedy recovery while expressing condolences to Homen’s family.
“The actions of Andrew were not like anything I had ever witnessed from him in the time that I knew him and beyond that do not wish to comment or make any assumptions as to what was going through his mind at that moment,” she said in the statement.