Two Boston police officers were shot multiple times and nine others suffered minor injuries (including those not related to gunfire) before a shotgun*-armed suspect wearing body armor was shot and killed in a firefight that had officers screaming for more ammunition.
Two Boston police officers were “extremely critical” after a man wearing body armor and armed with an assault rifle shot them multiple times, police said Thursday.
Police Commissioner William Evans said the suspect, identified as 33-year-old Kirk Figueroa, fired at the officers late Wednesday night after they arrived at an East Boston home. Several other officers who were stationed outside ran inside and exchanged fire with the gunman.
“Domestic calls, as you know, are probably the most volatile. You never really know what you’re walking into,” Evans said. “And I think we see right now the dangers of our job.”
The officers shot and killed Figueroa and then began giving the fallen officers first aid. Evans said one of the wounded officers was a 28-year veteran of the force and the other a 12-year veteran.
“One officer had his hand in one of the wounds and I think that was instrumental in getting the officer down to Mass General quickly,” Evans said.
Both officers underwent surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital for serious injuries. Nine other officers were being treated at Tufts Medical Center for trauma, stress and minor injuries.
Audio of some of the gunfire was captured by an area man.
#EastBoston audio of the gunshots heard from our bedroom window in Orient Heights, this is only some of them pic.twitter.com/dj31WmJmiM
— Mike Tucker (@miketunka) October 13, 2016
This is the second domestic violence in a less than a week that saw multiple officers injured by armor-wearing suspects armed with long guns. Two Palm Springs (CA) officers were murdered and another was injured when officers responded to a domestic violence call and the illegally armed and armored felon inside opened up with a rifle.
Law enforcement patrol officers wear lightweight flexible body armor designed to stop the most common moderate-velocity handgun ammunition, but that armor is not designed to stop much higher velocity rifle rounds.
While these two similar instances are shocking, they are very rare and do not reflect a trend. Rifles of any kind are the most rarely used firearms in any kind of crime, and criminal homicides with rifles remain on a steady downward trend, even as there was a slight over all uptick in criminal homicides due to a rise in the use of handguns, fire, strangling, and asphyxiation.
Despite fear-mongering from gun control supporters that seek to portray the most common semi-automatic long guns as some sort of expanding public health threat, just 252 people were killed by rifles last year in a nation of 224 million. By way of comparison, 1,544 were stabbed to death in 2015, 437 were beaten to death with bats, hammer, or other blunt objects, and 624 were beaten or kicked to death.
Update: The original reporting claiming that the suspect in Boston was armed with a rifle are incorrect. He was armed with a shotgun.
* Updated to reflect new, correct information that the suspect was armed with a shotgun.