Tyler Brown pleaded guilty yesterday to a series of charges, including armed assault with intent to murder for an incident in May, 2020 in which he shot repeatedly at Boston police officers in the area of Chester Park on Massachusetts Avenue, one at close range - while on probation for a double stabbing in Chinatown in 2014.
Assistant Suffolk County DA Andrew Kettlewell had asked for at least 10 to 12 years after Brown, 42, pleaded guilty to charges that also included attempted assault and battery by means of discharging a firearm, three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon for pointing a firearm at additional responding Boston Police officers and single counts of unlawful possession of a firearm as a subsequent offense, carrying a loaded firearm and possession of a large-capacity feeding device, the DA's office reports.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders imposed the lesser sentence, along with three years probation - Kettlewell had asked for five. Sanders also sentenced Brown to four to five years in state prison for violating the terms of his release for the 2014 attack - but ordered that sentence to served concurrently with the one for the gunfire.
Both DA Rachael Rollins and the police union said they were unhappy with Brown's sentence. Rollins apologized to the officer whom Brown directly targeted and the others who responded to Chester Park that day.
I am disappointed in the sentence that was imposed. Members of law enforcement put their lives at risk every day to protect us. They serve us, at times being unfairly criticized for acts committed by officers a thousand miles away felt and witnessed around the globe. Violence will not be condoned in Suffolk County. Whether that violence is committed by or against a domestic partner, a stranger, a loved one, a family member, a spouse, an acquaintance, a police officer, a suspect, anyone, we will hold the perpetrator of the violence accountable and advocate on behalf of the victim. This sentence doesn't do that, and I want to personally apologize to each of these officers and their families. I strongly believe that the sentence we proposed – 10 to 12 years followed by five years of probation – was appropriate for the level of brazen violence committed. Of equal concern is the imposition of concurrent sentences for a prior and separate violent assault on a different member of our community.
The Boston Police Patrolmen's Association issued a statement, calling the sentence "a miscarriage of justice, but also an irrefutable insult to the brave men and women of the BPD."
The DA's office provided this account:
Boston Police responded to a report of a man with a gun in the area of Northhampton Street. Officers working a detail nearby were the first to respond and located Mr. Brown on Massachusetts Avenue. He matched the description provided by witnesses and appeared emotionally disturbed. When officers attempted to speak with him, he tossed a bag he was carrying at one officer and fled. The officers pursued him on foot and were joined by two additional responding officers. Upon reaching Chester Park, Mr. Brown, who is not licensed to carry a firearm, turned and fired a .40 Glock semi-automatic at close range at one officer’s chest. Luckily, the officer was able to dive for cover and was narrowly missed by the bullets.
Mr. Brown continued to shoot at the officers, firing a total of 13 rounds. Two officers returned fire. Combined, they only discharged five rounds in response to Mr. Brown’s barrage of gunfire. Miraculously, no officers or civilians were shot during the exchange.