DA: Cops acted heroically in fatally shooting man firing on them on a busy street
Two Boston police officers who returned the fire of a man who started shooting at them on a Dorchester street in 2011 did nothing wrong, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley says.
In a letter to Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis on the death of Tyrone Cummings following a gun battle on Dunbar Avenue on June 14, 2011, Conley says officers Shawn Marando and Timothy Denio:
[F]ired justifiably in self-defense and in defense of [two women and an 8-year-old child present at the scene]. The officers fired only after Mr. Cummings fired at them. Mr. Cummings continued to fire at the officers even after he had been shot. Under the circumstances, Officers Marando and Denio acted reasonably, lawfully and indeed heroically.
Conley's report comes a month after Niquel Reid, the sister of Cummings's girlfriend, sued the officers and Boston Police, charging they shot her in a reckless overuse of force against a man they'd already shot, and that she continues to suffer physical and mental issues because of her injuries.
In his report, however, Conley said Reid's leg was punctured by a bullet from Cummings's 9mm Ruger:
Although no bullet or fragment was recovered from either [the injured woman] or Officer Marando, the location of their injuries and the relative positions of the police officers and Mr. Cummings establish that Mr. Cummings fired the bullet that struck [the injured woman] and the bullet that struck Officer Marando.
According to the DA's office, a series of interviews, reviews of 911 and dispatch transcripts and an examination of evidences in the case, showed:
Cummings assaulted his 29-year-old female partner on the morning of June 14 in the course of a verbal altercation that became physical when he took her phone and threw it against a wall. The woman called her sister and asked her sister to come pick her up. At about this time, Cummings threatened to kill her if she called police.
The victim's sister arrived a short time later and the victim and her young child entered her van. Outside, Cummings and the sister became involved in their own conversation that also escalated. At 6:42 a.m., the victim called 911.
Officers Marando and Denio and a third officer responded to the call, which was broadcast as a domestic violence incident in progress. While they were en route, they received updated information that the suspect had threatened to kill the victim.
When they arrived at the scene, the victim was in the van with her child, while Cummings and the victim's sister were on the sidewalk. When one officer notified Cummings that he had to perform a pat-frisk for weapons and began to touch Cummings' waist, Cummings pulled a firearm from his waistband.
The firearm was a 9mm Ruger semiautomatic handgun, which Cummings pointed at the officer. Marando and Denio drew their service weapons and Cummings fired a shot at Marando. Marando returned fire, as did Denio. Cummings continued to fire as he fell. When Cummings stopped firing, Demio took his firearm from him and called in the incident.
Marando and the victim's sister both suffered gunshot wounds to their lower left legs. They were transported to separate hospitals for evaluation and treatment.
Conley wrote Cummings managed to fire his gun four times that day. He died about a month after the incident.