Decorated Boston cop in coma after being shot in face
Boston — A police officer who was honored for his role in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing was in an induced coma fighting for his life early Saturday after being shot in the face during a traffic stop, authorities said.
The suspect in the shooting hopped out of the stopped car on Friday evening and opened fire on officers, striking Officer John Moynihan just below his right eye and an apparent bystander in her arm, police Commissioner William Evans said.
Other officers returned fire and killed the suspect at the scene, Evans said. The woman suffered a flesh wound and was in good spirits, and three other officers were taken to a hospital with stress-related problems, he said.
The names of the suspect and the wounded woman weren’t immediately released.
Moynihan, 34, is on the police Youth Violence Task Force and is a highly decorated military veteran, Evans said.
He is a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq and was honored at the White House in May as a recipient of the National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award. Moynihan received the award for being one of the first responders in Watertown following the April 2013 gunbattle with the Boston Marathon bombers.
Moynihan had helped transit police Officer Richard Donohue, who was shot in the leg and nearly bled to death when police tried to apprehend Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Lieutenant Michael McCarthy said.
“The officer here is in tough shape, but we’re all pulling for him, and hopefully he’ll pull through,” Evans said. “His family’s with him, the clergy has been here and … let’s pray for him.”
Evans said the police officers, part of a gang unit, pulled the vehicle over for a routine stop. Two other people in the car were being interviewed, and it was too early to say whether criminal charges would be filed against them, he said.
Such shootings are rare in Boston, but firearms are a major concern in the city, the commissioner said.
“We’ve got way too many guns out there, way too many young kids running around with the guns,” he said, “and unfortunately this is what happens.”
Mayor Marty Walsh said his thoughts and prayers were with the injured officer, his family and the police department.
“These acts of violence have no place in our neighborhoods,” Walsh said. “Our community is stronger than ever, and tonight we are thankful for all of those who put their lives on the line every day to protect our city.”