Suspects held after Boston police officer shot in the South End
A Boston police officer is expected to recover after being shot in the South End Sunday afternoon, and two men have been arrested and charged in connection with the shooting, according to Boston police.
“It’s a non-life-threatening injury, thank God,” Police Commissioner William Gross told reporters at the scene. “He was transported to a local area hospital where he’s being treated for that wound.”
Officers from the department’s Youth Violence Strike Force were patrolling West Springfield Street shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday when they noticed a double-parked car playing loud music, Gross said.
Three men who were sitting on the front stairs at 91 West Springfield St. made eye contact with the gang unit officers and immediately stood up while “clutching at their waists, which is characteristic of an armed gunman,” Gross said.
The officers attempted to follow the young men into the building, but one of the three allegedly held the door to block the officers’ entry, according to the commissioner.
After the officers made it inside, one of the young men allegedly shot at them, striking an officer in the calf, Gross said.
After one of the men entered an apartment, SWAT officers and hostage negotiators came to the scene, Gross said. Police were eventually able to take all three men into custody without any more shots fired, he said.
Police said Sunday night that Raquon Martin, 21, of Boston and Antoine Mack, 35, of Pawtucket, R.I., were arrested and both face charges of armed assault to murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, among other gun charges.
Martin and Mack are expected to be arraigned Monday in Boston Municipal Court, according to Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office.
Although Gross said earlier Sunday that officers took three men into custody, a police spokesman said Sunday night that the department did not have any information regarding a third suspect, and that the investigation was ongoing.
Around West Springfield Street on Sunday afternoon, multiple blocks were closed to traffic with yellow police tape, which neighbors and passersby peered over as they tried to get a sense of the situation. Marked and unmarked police vehicles, including large armored trucks, were posted in the area.
Vincent Peguero, who lives around the corner, said he had stepped outside for a cigarette when he saw a massive police response. He suspected that an officer had been hurt, he said, and later he saw an injured officer on a stretcher with his boot and sock removed.
“Normally, when this amount of police comes out, it’s a cop that got shot,” he said.
Peguero said he has lived in the neighborhood 20 years, and it’s not unusual to hear gunfire nearby, though it has become less common as the neighborhood has changed.
“I’m kind of used to it,” he said. “Stuff happens every day.”
Mayor Martin J. Walsh visited the injured officer in the hospital Sunday afternoon, and in a later statement he expressed frustration over the shooting.
“Our police officers work hard everyday to keep our residents safe, and this senseless violence will not be tolerated,” Walsh said. “I wish a speedy recovery to the officer who was injured, and thank our first responders for their swift action today.”
The wounded officer is a five-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, according to Sergeant John Boyle, a police spokesman.
Gross said it is “heart-wrenching” when any officer is injured in the line of duty.