An East Boston man has been identified as the gunman in a late-night shootout that left two Boston police officers critically injured.
According to the Boston Globe, 33-year-old Kirk Figueroa opened fire on police around 10:51 p.m. Wednesday as they responded to reports of a man with a gun and a dispute between roommates. Authorities said Figueroa had on a bulletproof vest and was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun when he shot one of the officers in the leg and the other in his upper body.
The two parties exchanged gunfire, during which Figueroa was shot and killed.
“We had to do what we had to do,” Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said at a press conference Thursday morning. “I commend the officers. They moved in and neutralized the threat pretty quick [so] that no one else got killed.”
The wounded officers — one a 25-year veteran of the force and the other a 12-year veteran — were transported to a local hospital in seriously critical condition. Nine other officers at the scene were treated for stress following the shootout.
Boston’s WCVB reports that Figueroa was already known by police because he was sworn in as constable on July 22 of this year. The position gave him the authority to take custody of prisoners or property if a warrant for someone’s arrest was directed to him, per records from the City Clerk’s office.
Figueroa was also the founder and CEO of Code Blue Protection Corp, a company offering a long list of security service needs such as security officers, bodyguards, security monitoring systems, and close personal protection among other things.
According to his biography, which is posted on the company’s website, Figueroa served in the U.S. Army Reserve’s military police battalion and is a trained mixed martial arts practitioner. He also claimed to be a licensed bounty hunter in California and a “Certified Homeland Protection Professional.”
Police are still investigating Figueroa’s motive for the shooting.
“It just impacted me because this is one of the best neighborhoods in the area,” said East Boston resident Andreas Rodriguez. “I said, ‘Wow!’ Orient Heights. Gladstone Street. It’s behind the Madonna. It’s a nice quiet neighborhood.”
Maryland Gov. Charlie Baker’s office released a statement Thursday regarding the harrowing ordeal.
“Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito are shocked and saddened to learn of last night’s horrific incident and their thoughts and prayers are with the police officers and their families,’” the statement read.
According to WCVB, the district attorney’s office is expected to conduct a full investigation into the officers’ use of deadly force against Figueroa. No charges are expected to be filed against the wounded policemen.
Thursday’s shooting is the latest in a string of recent attacks against police.