DA: Police shot man to death in self defense after he pulled a gun on them

Police officers were in legitimate fear for their lives when they fired at a man reaching for a gun in Mattapan on June 2 of last year, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said today.

In a letter to Police Commissioner William Evans, Conley said he will not be bringing any charges against officers involved in the shooting death of Ross Batista in a car on Wildwood Street early that morning:

Our thorough review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the shooting of Mr. Batista determined that [the officers involved] fired in self-defense and defense of each other and [a third officer] after Mr. Batista ignored verbal commands to stop reaching for a gun and then drew it in a manner that represented a lethal threat to the officers. In the course of that encounter, after firing at a civilian, Mr. Batista pointed one firearm, had easy access to another, and fired multiple rounds at the officers, in total disregard for the safety of dozens of other citizens in the area. I have thus concluded that the officers involved acted reasonably and lawfully and that, therefore, no criminal charges are warranted.

The DA's office provided this account of Batista's death:

The investigation revealed that Batista was with a relative inside a car on Willowwood Street at about 1:00 in the morning on June 2, 2013, when he became engaged in an intense argument with a pedestrian. He drew a pistol and exchanged gunfire with that person. At that moment, Boston Police were in the area for another call - a fight that was soon upgraded to shots fired.

When these officers heard the gunfire, they ran toward it and came upon Batista and his relative inside their vehicle. As they approached, another man ran up and indicated that one of the occupants of the car had shot at him. The officers ordered Batista to show his hands and get out of the car. Batista - who was wearing latex gloves and seated in the front passenger’s seat - ignored those orders.

Batista jumped into the back seat of the car and made statements indicating that the officers would "have to shoot me." He then said, "Fuck it, I’m coming out."

The investigation showed that Batista retrieved a .38 caliber revolver from the front seat. Officers around the car shouted that he had a gun. One officer fired through the windshield at him, hitting Batista in the torso. Batista nonetheless was able to exit the car and fire on the officers, who were now retreating. He fired at least two rounds in the direction of two officers. A third officer fired on Batista, hitting him again in the front torso and left arm. In addition to the .38 that Batista fired, investigators recovered a second loaded handgun from the front passenger’s side area of the vehicle.

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    Comments

    Don't worry folks marty will

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    Don't worry folks marty will soon limit police to only billy clubs and mace. Next time the cops can throw their clubs at the armed gunman to safely and successfully disarm the gunamn. Already wanting to ban police rifles, of course because police can throw their clubs and heavily armed assailants.

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    The police lobby is looking

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    The police lobby is looking to get the laws changed so they can take home their scary assault weapons from work AND KEEP THEM WHEN THEY RETIRE.

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    Fine by me. They are trained

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    Fine by me. They are trained to use them. And no I'm not a gun nut. Only think law enforcement should be well armed, not silly gun ho citizens.

    Would you have a problem with

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    Would you have a problem with soldiers as trained professionals taking their full battle gear home and keeping it when they retire? Because that's exactly what the cops want to do.

    A lot

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    Do

    I don't know any soldiers

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    I don't know any soldiers legally taking home with their service rifles and keeping them after being discharged from the armed forces. But an awful lot of even small police departments seem to be keeping tanks in their parking lots lately.

    There is something very wrong with the BPD chief declaring residents have no need for firearms and then demanding their officers be given special exception to keep AW weapons off duty and when retired.

    It is a big double standard and says a lot about the attitude officers have toward the general public. Something which is very unhealthy in community policing.

    It was on WBUR

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    The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association MCOPA specifically demanded an exemption in the new gun bill which made it into the senate version along with expansion of the unconstitutional "suitability" powers for issuing FID cards.

    In the Spring of 2011 Chief Ron Glidden (he's kind of a big deal for expert legal opinions on state law) authored an article in MCOPA's magazine arguing that the "for law enforcement purposes" language in MGL 140/131M prevents officers from using AWB restricted items, including large capacity magazines, except when on duty touching off a firestorm in the LEO community as many officers have been illegally taking equipment home with them to "practice" with. Since then the MCOPA has been looking to get an explicit legal exemption to cover their asses and following a sense of personal entitlement has decided that retired officers are special and should get to keep AW weapons.

    It's big time back room arm twisting for the small number of chiefs(~30 out of the 351) that really want to be special and determine who is special in their fiefdoms.

    you joke but

    i unironically wish that regular cops wouldnt be allowed to carry firearms. that should be limited to SWAT and the like

    Really?

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    Every gangbanger and his baby brother in Boston has a gun, yet cops should be unarmed? Where do you live, mr gun hater? Weston? Wellesley? Winchester?

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    I don't hate guns, nor am I

    I don't hate guns, nor am I anti gun, I'm not even interested in stricter gun control per se. Just don't think that average street cops should have guns.

    I also don't think that the cops in the article acted improperly.

    Like I've already made clear, I don't have all the answers and I don't think I necessarily even have a better idea with our current situation. That doesn't change the fact that I don't trust average police officers judgement when it comes to having a firearm as a tool.

    Maybe the conversation will come up again the next time a cop kills a Sox fan for celebrating too hard.

    I've also made it clear that I feel like a few rotten apples have infact spoiled the bunch. I don't expect to garner much support with my opinion as I understand I am likely in the minority.

    Way too much crime and gunman

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    Way too much crime and gunman in America. The English policing model would instantly fail in America

    Did you read the above

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    Did you read the above article? These cops were being shot at and if not armed they as well as who knows how many citizens probably would have been killed by this pyscho.

    For you to say you do not want police officers to be armed is astonishing to me. These officers deserve to have every capable tool including firearms available to them in order to ensure they return home to their families at the end of the of shift. Also i think your statement is completely ignorant of the threats police deal with on a daily basis. It is really easy from your vantage point to make a statement police should not be armed however when an armed gunman comes into your child's school, your workplace or your home I wounded if your opinion of having an armed police force would change.

    He/she would still think cops

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    He/she would still think cops should possess billy clubs and flashlights are reasonable equipment for cops. These no guns for cops types astonish me too. We say black they say white. Completely different mind sets

    i read the article and i don

    i read the article and i don't know why you think that a justified shooting would make me change my entire stance on whether i think police should be armed with guns.

    i'm not ignorant to the dangers police face. i would recommend not electing to pursue that career path if you are unwilling to take the risk.

    as far as the school situation, maybe. but more people are killed by cops every year than school shooters, so we'll see.

    Sooooooo, what would the

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    Sooooooo, what would the average city cop do if he or she recieved a call for a person shooting a gun or a bank robber? How would you have that officer handle that call? I'm not attacking your premise, just curious on your theory.

    So if normal street cops don

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    So if normal street cops don't carry firearms, how do the police respond to an active shooter situation or a situation where ther was a shooting and the suspect is fleeing with his gun in hand?

    Specialized swat units (outside of the Boston SWAT truck that roams the city) are mobilized when something goes wrong. Patrolmen contain the threat until the help arrives. It takes time to mobilize these unit outside of Boston. So you're delaying a response and laying more lives on the line.

    You often hear of the cases of police involved shootings, you very rarely notice, hear or retain the stories that police show incredible restraint, in a life threatening situation by law, and affect an arrest. Those stories don't sell as well as the "police officers kill suspect".

    The number of people killed by criminals is much higher than the number of people "killed by cops".

    i dont know, i dont have all

    i dont know, i dont have all the answers for that and im not going to pretend to. my opinion is that regular patrolmen shouldnt be armed. im glad youre exercising your ability to disagree, but i dont have a better solution in mind

    Based upon your knowledge of

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    Based upon your knowledge of the above incident,do you think those cops should not have been armed? And did the act improperly?

    So...

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    You don't have any suggestions or solutions, yet you think cops definitely shouldn't have firearms. That's some great occutard-type logic right there, goes hand in hand with across the board debt forgiveness/$25 minimum wage/etc.

    I just can't understand your

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    I just can't understand your view here. You are stating that you don't believe officers should have guns yet in this incident the suspect was actively shooting at officers and citizens, this justified shooting is a perfect example to the reason police need guns in order to protect innocent life. Therefore that's why I think this justified shooting alone should change your entire stance on armed police

    As for recommending people not entering into policing or choosing a different career if they are "not willing to accept the risk". You state you understand the dangers of policing and you want to ask officers to "accept the risk" of being killed when be armed is a great way to reduce the risk. Also I would argue you would have a difficult time recruiting candidates to be police officers if they had to rely on accepting the risk and not being armed with the knowledge of gun violence in iur country. Would you get candidates? Yes but they would probably be of lesser quality, less educated, more crazy and therefore your whole idea of an unarmed police force leads to a less professional group of officers leading to greater problems.

    As for your statement that more people are killed by cops then school shooters. One I don't even know if that is true or not but say that it is. How is that relevant? How many people were unlawfully killed by police compared to school shooters? I don't have a source to answer the question but it be willing to bet it's much much less then the amount of people killed by school shooters. Not all but the majority of people killed by police were acting in an unlawful manner where leathal forced was determined to be justified. Not one school shooting I have ever heard of has been deemed justified.

    I know you will disagree with my above views but the fact is we live in a society were guns are everywhere. This is not the United Kingdom where guns are not as common, our society could not function with an unarmed police force it's simply impossible and to ask cops to be willing to take the risk when means are available to combat those risk is just rediculous.

    Just noticed my spelling

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    Just noticed my spelling error or ridiculous above typing from an iphone here