A 34-year-old Boston police officer remained in critical condition after being shot in the head “without provocation” in the city's Roxbury neighborhood Friday night. Police Commissioner William Evans said at a news conference Saturday that the police department was optimistic about Officer John Moynihan’s recovery.
"We are all very lucky that he is still with us today,” Evans said. “The officer here is in tough shape, but we’re all pulling for him, and hopefully he’ll pull through. His family’s with him, the clergy has been here. … Let’s pray for him.”
Police identified the gunman as Angelo West, 41, of the city's Hyde Park section. Evans said West was killed in the ensuing shootout after firing at Moynihan when he and five other officers approached West's car without guns drawn. It wasn't immediately clear why police approached the vehicle, but authorities said the officers were responding to a report of an earlier shooting in the area.
Police have “excellent video” of the shooting, WBZ-TV reported. Evans said that West fired a .357 Magnum at Moynihan at close range, striking the officer just below one eye. Afterward, Moynihan was rushed to Boston Medical Center, where he remains in an induced coma, the commissioner said. The bullet remains lodged behind Moynihan’s right ear and it is unclear if there is any other damage other than what has already been established by doctors.
Said #BPD Commish Evans “All of my officers are praying for his safe recovery. We are all very lucky that he is still with us today.”
â€” Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) March 28, 2015
Moynihan is a decorated former Army Ranger who served in Iraq between 2006-07 and is a member of the Youth Violence Strike Force, a multi-agency group that combats street violence and runs outreach programs in Boston-area communities to help keep guns out of the hands of Boston’s youth. Moynihan also responded two years ago in the search for the Tsarnaev brothers following the Boston Marathon bombing. He helped a transit officer, Richard Donohue, who was shot in a leg. For more information from the BPD on the shooting and how you can provide information to police, see here.
West had a violent past and several firearms convictions on his record, police said. Two men who were in the car with West when he opened fire on Moynihan and his colleagues were arrested on previous warrants, police said.