A gun battle raged at an East Boston home as a city constable with body armor and an assault rifle shot and critically injured two Boston police officers late on October 12, said WMTW-TV.
Kirk Figueroa, 33, of East Boston, was then shot and killed by other officers who ran into the home to drag out their wounded colleagues while undergoing heavy gunfire themselves. Reports say he was a sworn City of Boston constable and co-founder of a security firm whose biography boasts of military and law enforcement experience. However, The Army Times called him a “soldier faker” who “never even attended basic training.”
WMTW said the officers are in “extremely critical condition” at a hospital, although other reports varied, either saying they were doing better or clinging to life. WCVB identified the officers as Richard Cintolo and Matthew Morris. By early afternoon, they were listed as critical but stable.
Boston police confirmed the gunman’s identity after what they called a “firefight” in Orient Heights.
The shootings occurred after other officers throughout the country were slain, most recently in Palm Springs, California.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Suspect Was a City of Boston Constable Who Underwent a Police Background Check
The Boston Globe reported that City Council minutes show Figueroa “was approved to be a constable by the council in April 13 following a background investigation by Boston police” and was approved “on a voice vote as a constable,” allowing him to “serve legal papers connected to civil litigation.”
Police Commissioner William Evans told the Boston Globe that Figueroa started firing after officers arrived at a home where a domestic disturbance was occurring in the East Boston neighborhood of the city.
“Domestic calls, as you know, are probably the most volatile. You never really know what you’re walking into,” Evans said, according to The Globe. “And I think we see right now the dangers of our job.”
NECN said the domestic disturbance was a dispute between roommates.
2. Figueroa Was Co-Founder of a Security Firm & Exaggerated His Military Background
Citizens captured the sounds of rapid shooting with cell phones. The heavy degree of gunfire can be heard on the above audio captured by an East Boston man from his bedroom window.
The Boston Globe reported that a “Ford Crown Victoria with the name of a website, Elite Policing.org, was towed from the scene by police Thursday morning.”
The site contains a biography of its founder, Kirk Figueora, who is featured in a photo wearing a red beret, according to The Globe, although police had not yet confirmed this link. That bio says the company’s founder served in the Army Reserves with a military police battalion from 2003 until 2011.
However, The Army Times says Figueroa “served a mere five months” in the Army reserves and, according to an Army spokesman, “Mr. Figueroa never attended basic training or advanced individual training. He did enlist in the U.S. Army Reserve in February 2003, but received a hardship discharge five months later.”
WCVB-TV says Figueroa’s company, Code Blue Protection Corp., “provides police support, fugitive apprehension and extradition services and armored car training. He also says he is trained in mixed martial arts.”
The military confirmed the Reserves claim.
The bio also claims, “During this time (from 2008 until 2010), Kirk also gained some experience serving as an apprentice Licensed Private Investigator (cc) in the State of Florida. Then continuing to earn a Professional Diploma in Private Investigations from PDI – University of North Texas.”
Continued the bio: “Well versed in fugitive recovery, CBPC’s co-founder has established tight relationships with local, and other political subdivisions of the United States. A California Bounty Hunter and mixed martial arts practitioner, Kirk has established a fast turnaround time when meeting the demands of returning clients. His interpersonal and communication skills have enabled him the fluent collaboration with other private in-house protection teams.”
Reporters were having difficulty obtaining information on his background early Thursday.
Citizens took to social media to report on the frightening scene.
People said they had not seen such a massive police response since the Boston Marathon bombing. The gun battle occurred late on October 12.
3. Figueroa’s Biography Also Claims He Was a Correctional Officer & ‘Bail Runner’
“Prior to joining the military reserves, Kirk also gained some experience in home care nursing and medical tech with Heron Surgical Inc. located in Queens, New York,” says Figueroa’s bio.
“In prior career stops, Kirk continued his pursuit for Law Enforcement as an employed Correctional Officer II with the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety–Meanwhile, receiving an appointment to serve as a Constable within the town parish and City of Boston; As a result, Mr. Figueroa became the first ‘Bail Runner’ dually recognized and sworn Law Enforcement official in the United States of America. He also acquired the prestigious rank known in Corrections industry as a Certified Jail Officer with the National Sheriffs’ Association, and Certified Homeland Protection Professional with National Domestic Preparedness Coalition, Inc.”
“Some early reports were saying Figueroa may have been a trained security professional and bounty hunter,” said Massachusetts Live, but the news site added that police had not confirmed the details.
The police commissioner says Figueroa had “at least one assault-style rifle and a ballistic vest” and that Figueroa opened fire first, causing the officers to return fire. It’s not clear why Figueroa opened fire on the officers, police said.
News reporters said that the police union had previously requested long guns for officers to respond to exactly this kind of situation.
Figueroa did not have a Massachusetts permit to carry a gun:
Florida denied him a private investigator’s license:
One officer was shot in the upper body and the other in the leg, according to The Boston Globe.
4. The Officers Required Blood Transfusions & Police Are Asking for Prayers
The two officers who were shot are veterans of the force. One has served as a police officer for 28 years and the other for 12, said NECN.
Both officers were shot multiple times, according to CBS Boston.
Both officers have also required blood transfusions, says CBS Local.
They were doing better after undergoing surgery, the station said, adding that nine other officers were treated at the hospital for minor injuries and stress.
5. Other Officers Heroically Dragged the Injured Officers out of the House
Other officers, after hearing the gunfire, entered the house and dragged the injured officers out of it, while facing gunfire themselves, police said, according to NECN.
The police commissioner described a dramatic scene in which one officer even “put his finger” on an injured officer’s wounds to try to stem the bleeding.
You can watch the early morning police press conference above. This article will be updated as more information is learned about the shooter.