19-year-old man killed in officer-involved shooting in Boston
Boston police shot and killed a 19-year-old man in Dorchester on Monday after he fired at two officers who had ordered him to drop his gun, police said.
The shooting happened on Penhallow Street shortly before 5:30 p.m. after a chase. The 19-year-old, who police did not identify, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officers were not injured but were taken to a hospital for evaluation. They were placed on leave while police and the Suffolk District Attorney’s office investigate the circumstances of the shooting.
Police Commissioner William Gross provided details of the shooting at a news conference at department headquarters late Monday evening. Around 5:15 p.m., a witness told two officers on bicycles that shots had been fired in Town Field, a neighborhood park. The officers then saw the 19-year-old and a second suspect running from the park onto Melville Avenue.
They split up, and the two officers chased the 19-year-old on their bicycles, although one officer eventually abandoned his bike and continued his pursuit. They caught up to him nearby on Penhallow Street and saw he had a gun. They ordered him repeatedly to drop his weapon, Gross said.
Instead, the 19-year-old pointed a gun at the officers and fired, Gross said.
“I want to note that these officers were in uniform with their badges clearly displayed,” he said.
The officers returned fire, striking the 19-year-old. Police did not say how many shots were fired by either the man or the officers. A gun was recovered at the scene.
After the shooting, the officers gave the man first aid until emergency medical teams arrived a short time later.
The second suspect who ran from Town Field eluded police and remains at large. Police did not provide details about the initial shooting.
The two bicycle officers were not wearing body cameras, but other responding officers were, Gross said. Officials will review the footage as part of the investigation.
It is the first police-involved fatal shooting in Boston since February, when a driver opened fire on two uniformed officers in Roxbury, wounding one. Kasim Kahrim, 36, had been released from MCI-Shirley less than three months earlier.
Mark Whalen, 29, the officer who was shot several times in the chest and underwent surgery, was released from the hospital in March.
On Monday, Asraf Ali, 48, was outside working on his car when he saw a man with a gun running up Silloway Street, with two police officers chasing him on foot.
They were yelling “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” Ali said.
Alarmed, Ali quickly helped his grandfather into their house. A few minutes later, he heard police again shout at the man to drop his gun before three shots rang out, he said.
“You don’t see this kind of thing around here, it’s crazy,” said Ali, who has lived in the neighborhood for about 30 years.
Kevel Brooks, 38, was working at Eddy’s Automotive on Dorchester Avenue when he heard a flurry of gunshots. Moments later, a group of three or four kids ran up Melville Avenue and into some nearby houses, he said.
“At first, I thought they were fireworks, but when I saw kids running up the street, I knew it was a little bit more,” he said.
When he learned about the shooting, he hoped for the best.
“I was hoping everything was all right and nobody got severely hurt,” he said. “Because that was a lot of gunshots.”
In a post on Twitter, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said “any act of violence in our city is tragic and traumatizing.”
“We will continue to focus on preventing crime by creating more opportunities for our young people, and a path away from violence,” he said. “We will not rest until all residents feel safe and supported in their neighborhood each and every day.”