A Boston police officer involved in a shootout between law enforcement and the Boston bombers in 2013 was shot in the face on Friday.
The officer, John Moynihan, helped save a transit officer in a gun battle between police and Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, days after the brothers set off two pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, The Boston Globe reported. Tamerlan was killed in the aftermath of the battle. Dzhokhar is currently on trial for setting off the bombs, which killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
Moynihan was in critical condition and “fighting for his life”, Boston Police Department Commissioner William Evans said on Friday.
“We’re hoping and praying there’s no further damage,” Evans added at a Saturday press conference. “I’m sure he’s a fighter. He’s going to pull through.”
On Friday night, Moynihan and other officers were responding to a report that someone had fired a weapon near the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury, according to Evans. They stopped a vehicle in the area for reasons that are unclear, he said, and a group of officers then approached the vehicle without drawing their weapons.
Evans added that the driver, identified as a 41-year-old black man, got out of the vehicle and immediately fired a bullet at Moynihan, hitting him below the right eye. The man shot at the other officers as he fled, but was killed when police returned fire. A female bystander was also grazed by a bullet, although Evans described her injury as a “flesh wound.”
Locals who were angry about the circumstances surrounding the shooting gathered at the site on Friday. Evans said video from the incident clearly shows that the man who shot Moynihan was unprovoked: “We’ve got excellent video, excellent witnesses.”
He did not indicate whether the footage would be released.
Evans and other officers visited Moynihan in the hospital, and also checked on the bystander. “We’re all just very lucky he’s still with us today,” he said.