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    Boston police officer shot in Roxbury released from hospital

    Patrick Haggan, first assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, described a video of the shooting. Looking on is Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.
    Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
    Patrick Haggan, first assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, described a video of the shooting. Looking on is Boston Police Commissioner William Evans.

    The Boston Police gang unit officer shot point-blank in the face two weeks ago by a convicted felon in Roxbury has been released from the hospital and has returned home, Boston Police said in a statement Saturday.

    John Moynihan, 34, was critically wounded on March 27 when he and five other officers pulled over an SUV driven by 40-year-old Angelo West on Humboldt Avenue. Officers were investigating reports of gunfire and wanted to talk to one of the passengers, an alleged known gang member who was wearing a GPS bracelet and lived near the site where the shots were fired.

    But when Moynihan walked up to the driver’s-side door, West stepped out and shot him under the eye, then turned to flee, still firing at officers. Police shot back, and West was killed.

    Boston police/AP
    Boston police Officer John Moynihan.
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    On Friday, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley released surveillance video of what Commissioner William B. Evans called the “completely unprovoked attack.”

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    A statement issued by Evans on Saturday evening said that Moynihan’s “courage and strength will help him with the difficult road ahead. I am confident that he will join his fellow officers again in making Boston an even safer city.”

    On March 27, Moynihan was taken to Boston Medical Center in critical condition. The Boston Police statement on Saturday said his condition was “serious but improving.”

    “In the days after the shooting, John and his family have been strengthened, humbled and inspired by the outpouring of love and support they’ve received — not only from his closest friends and fellow officers — but also from concerned citizens and strangers from all over the country wishing him a full and speedy recovery,” read the statement. “Above all else, John would especially like to thank and acknowledge the officers on scene for the lightning quick reaction and response that he credits for saving his life.”

    Moynihan’s family has requested privacy, the statement said, but asked that people keep him in their thoughts and prayers.

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    Friday’s decision to release the surveillance video during an open investigation set a precedent for Conley, who said video evidence previously had not been released until a case was officially closed.

    “In those instances in which video evidence can inform the public as to what happened and why, it is in everyone’s best interest to share that information as soon as possible in order to tamp down speculation and rumors meant to inflame and not to inform,” said Conley at a press conference Friday.

    Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.