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MGH doctors honored for saving officers wounded in East Boston shooting

Dr. George Velmahos and Dr. David King hold the “Commissioner’s Commendation” they received Thursday at the Boston police headquarters.Boston police

The Boston Police Department honored the doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital who saved the lives of the two officers shot in East Boston on Oct. 12.

Commissioner William B. Evans presented Dr. George Velmahos and Dr. David R. King with a “commissioner's commendation” on Thursday for the medical skill they used after Officers Richard Cintolo and Matthew Morris were seriously wounded.

Evans thanked the doctors for “all their efforts in saving the lives of Officers Cintolo and Morris, who were both shot multiple times during the incident and arrived at the door of Mass General Hospital with a bleak prognosis in need of immediate life-saving care,” the department said in a statement.


King, who has been a trauma surgeon at MGH since 2008, said 50 to 60 people were involved in treating the wounded officers. He also singled out the contributions of Dr. Noelle Saillant, another trauma surgeon who cared for Cintolo and Morris.

“There are a lot of people and a lot of moving parts that all have to work at the same time in synchronicity,” King said in an interview Friday. “It really requires a village . . . You can’t do anything by yourself.”

The officers were responding to a report of an argument between roommates on Gladstone Street when 33-year-old Kirk Figueroa opened fire, wounding the two men, police said. Figueroa was fatally shot by other officers. The use of deadly force is being investigated by Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office.

The two officers were rushed to the hospital with critical injuries.

Cintolo, a 27-year veteran, was discharged from MGH on Oct. 19, police said. Morris, a 12-year veteran, was released a few days after and is undergoing “continued treatment and care” at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

“It is truly my honor and privilege to recognize the MGH Trauma Team and all those who provided the life-saving care that enabled my officers to go home to their families,” Evans said in the statement.


When Velmahos and King accepted the award, they said they did so on behalf of the entire MGH Trauma Team.

King said the honor was humbling. He said he was previously recognized by the Somerville Police Department for his role in treating Detective Mario Oliveira, who was shot in the chest and abdomen in 2010. Oliveira later retired from the department.

“It’s a wonderful feeling as a physician when a collective group of people come together to say thank you,” King said. “It just means a lot to us and our entire team.”

The officers in the room gave King and Velmahos a standing ovation.

Dylan McGuinness can be reached at dylan.mcguinness@globe.com. Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com.