Commissioner: Officers rushed into gunman's home to rescue wounded Boston cops

BOSTON -- Officials on Thursday praised Boston police for rushing into the home of a suspected gunman who officials say shot and critically wounded two other officers late Wednesday.

Police identified the suspect as Kirk Figueroa, 33, a city constable. Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said the incident began when officers responded to a report of two roommates arguing, one possibly armed with a gun, at Figueroa’s East Boston home. When officers arrived, they met Figueroa’s roommate outside the home. The roommate said Figueroa had threatened him with a large knife.

When two officers went inside, Evans said Figueroa, wearing body armor, opened fire with a tactical rifle. Richard Cintolo, a 27-year department veteran, and Matt Morris, a 12-year veteran of the force, were struck and wounded.

Evans said that other officers nearby who heard the gunfire ran into the home “without hesitation” and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. Others moved quickly to get the two wounded officers out of the home and away from the line of fire.

“I’ve got to commend the officers for rushing into that building with no fear whatsoever to rescue two fellow officers,” Evans said at  a Thursday news conference.

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, who went to the scene Wednesday night, said the suspect engaged officers in a “ferocious firefight” and described seeing “massive” amounts of blood from the wounded officers. Evans said a bullet pierced one of the main arteries in Morris’ leg. A fellow officer was able to apply a tourniquet to the wound, “which doctors later said probably saved his life,” Evan said.

The officer who gave the emergency treatment had just last week been trained to apply a tourniquet as a part of a department-wide training program, Evans said.

Speaking with Morris at the hospital, Evans said Morris asked him to thank the officer.

“He knows how close he was to death,” Evans said. “He clearly praised the officer who saved his life.”

Evans also thanked hospital staff who treated the two officers and credited blood transfusions with helping save both of their lives. The wounded officers were out of surgery Thursday and remained in critical but stable condition. Evans told CBS Boston he was told the surgeries went well.

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The home in East Boston where police fatally shot a suspect they say opened fire on two officers, critically wounding them, Oct. 12, 2016 CBS Boston

 “Domestic calls, as you know, are probably the most volatile. You never really know what you’re walking into,” Evans said Wednesday. “And I think we see right now the dangers of our job.”

The Boston City Clerk’s Office confirmed to CBS Boston that Figueroa was a constable for the city, and was sworn in in July.

A car with the name of a website was towed from the shooting scene Thursday morning. On the website, elitepolicing.org, a man who identifies himself as Kirk Figueroa says his company, Code Blue Protection Corp., provides police support, fugitive apprehension and extradition services, and armored car training.

Figueroa described himself as a Boston constable, a former member of a U.S. Army Reserve military police unit, a bounty hunter in California and a former corrections officer. He also said he was trained in mixed martial arts. Constables are authorized to serve subpoenas and other legal documents.

Evans said Figueroa did not have the proper permits to carry weapons in Massachusetts. He confirmed Figueroa was a constable, a position he said was similar to a “mailman” who delivers documents in civil cases.

“Anyone who would shoot one of our officers is clearly an unhinged person,” he said.

Nine other officers were treated at Tufts Medical Center for minor injuries and emotional stress. They were all released.

Conley said his office would investigate the officer’s use of force, which is standard procedure, and release the findings in a few months to the public and Figueroa’s family.