Police Commissioner William Evans today identified the man fatally shot in a confrontation with officers at Humboldt Avenue and Ruthven Street last night as Angelo West, 41, of Hyde Park.
Police say West had a long and violent record. He was convicted of shooting at a Boston officer and a state trooper in the Theater District in 2001: His first shot missed and then his gun jammed.
At a morning press conference, Evans said police have "excellent video" showing that Officer John Moynihan was shot in the face in "a completely unprovoked attack." He said Moynihan remains in critical condition.
Evans said gang-unit officers pulled up behind West's car at Ruthven and Humboldt, with their blue lights going, then got out with their badges on display, but their guns holstered.
Moynihan approached the driver's side door and West got out, raised his arm and fired right into Moynihan's face, Evans said. Then, Evans said, West tried running away, firing his gun as he ran.
"None [of the officers] had their guns drawn, all of them were approaching the vehicle in a respectful way, I would suggest," Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said. Conley said his office will conduct an investigation into the incident and promised a "completely transparent" report.
Evans acknowledged there had been reports of gunfire in the area an hour or two before, but said he did not know if the officers pulled over West's car as part of their investigation into that.
Evans said his officers are trained to use their guns only as an absolute last resort. "It's a tough job and our officers did what they had to do," he said.
The Rev. Mark Scott of Azusa Christian Community Church, also spoke, and denounced what he called the "nearly assassination-style shooting" of the officer. Although he said his prayers are with both the officer and West's family, he added, "We condemn the behavior of the man who was involved in the shooting."