A South End man accused of shooting at two Boston police officers as they attempted to enter his home told detectives he initially believed they were assailants who had been threatening his family for several days, according to court testimony Wednesday.
On Sunday afternoon, three officers spotted a gray Mercedes-Benz double-parked on West Springfield Street and playing “extremely loud music,” according to police. The officers pulled behind the car in an unmarked SUV and saw Requon Martin, 21, and Antoine Mack, 35, clutching at their waistbands as if they were armed, police said.
When the two men went inside Martin’s first-floor apartment, the plainclothes officers ordered them to stop, but the men tried to close the door. When one officer put his foot in the door and tried to push it open, Martin shot him in the leg, police said.
Authorities said the officers were yelling “police,” but Martin told investigators he had received threatening text messages for several days and feared for his family’s safety.
“If someone other than officers did that, it would be home invasion,” Martin’s lawyer, Edward Molari, said in a courtroom packed with police officers and relatives of the two defendants. “So it comes down to whether Mr. Martin knew that at the time,” Molari added.
On Wednesday, Martin and Mack were ordered held without bail on charges of armed assault to murder. The officer, Patrick Curtin, was treated at a hospital and released.
Martin said the text messages contained images of his family’s vehicles outside their home, documenting their comings and goings. The person sending the messages was also trying to extort $15,000 from him, Martin told police. To protect himself, he bought two guns for $1,000, he told police.
In a separate police interview, Martin’s mother said she was so afraid that she took her kids to live in a motel. But she later told her son he needed to “come home and handle this.”
“Show them you’re not a punk. You’re hiding. You’re showing them you’re a punk,” she recounted the conversation to police.
On Sunday, Mack, who lived in Rhode Island, met Martin at the apartment while his mother gathered some belongings. When they saw the black SUV pull up, Mack said “it’s time to go,” Martin told police.
When they got inside, Mack tried to shut the door, but Curtin had put his foot in the way. Martin then drew his gun and fired a round.
Martin said he quickly realized the men were officers and ran to hide the weapons under his bed.
Both men were charged with illegal possession of firearms.
Police Detective Brian Ball, who questioned Martin and his mother, testified he had seen the text messages on Martin’s phone but said Martin was not immediately truthful about why he fired the gun.
The two men are scheduled to return to court on Oct. 22.Jerome Campbell can be reached at email@example.com or @jeromercampbell.