Boston police officer John T Moynihan is in stable condition after being shot in the face on 27 March, commissioner William Evans announced on 29 March. The officer was shot point blank directly below the eye while conducting a traffic stop in Roxbury, a neighbourhood in the south of Boston.
Evans said 34-year-old Moynihan had undergone several hours of surgery at Boston Medical Center to remove the bullet lodged in his neck. The decorated officer was listed in "stable and improving condition and is expected to be moved out of the Intensive Care Unit in the coming days", according to a statement from police.
"I'm thankful to the doctors and medical team at Boston Medical Center for taking such good care of my officer," Evans said. "I was happy to hear that he made it through surgery without any complications, it shows you what a strong kid he is and what a great medical team they have here at Boston Medical Center."
Details about the shooting have been revealed by police. According to Boston.com, six members of Boston's Youth Violence Task Force were responding to reports of shots fired in Roxbury when they made the traffic stop near Humboldt Avenue and Ruthven Street around 6.40pm.
Video of the incident shows Moynihan was the first officer to reach the driver's side of the vehicle. "Nobody had any indication of what might happen, no guns were drawn. The video is gonna clearly show that," Evans told reporters. "The officer was assisting the driver out without provocation. As the driver is getting out of the motor vehicle, you can see his right arm come up and point-blank shoot officer Moynihan right below the eye."
The alleged suspect, who was identified as 41-year-old Angelo West, continued to shoot with a .357 Magnum, Boston.com reported. He was then shot by police and died at the scene. A third victim suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was taken to Boston Medical Center, police said.
According to Boston PD's official website, Moynihan has served six years with Boston Police and has several awards. In 2014, he was honoured with the Boston Police Department's medal of honour and the nation's top cops award by President Barack Obama for his actions during the Watertown shooting following the Boston Marathon bombing.
Moynihan also served from 2005 to 2008 as a United States army ranger during the Iraq War.
District Attorney Dan Conley said First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan will conduct a "completely thorough" investigation of the incident and the officers' response.