Dramatic footage of Boston Irish cop John Moynihan being shot in the face on March 27th has been released by the Boston police department and prosecutors.
Moynihan had a miraculous escape after being shot at point blank range by a convicted felon, Angelo West, who was later shot dead by police.
Prosecutors released the tape which clearly shows police had not drawn their guns after pulling over a suspicious vehicle and shot West only after he had tried to kill officer Moynihan.
“In those instances in which video evidence can inform the public as to what happened and why, it is in everyone’s best interest to share that information as soon as possible in order to tamp down speculation and rumors meant to inflame and not to inform,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said at a press conference where officials outlined how the shooting happened.
“Our goal going forward is to ensure that we are one people and one city.”
The release of the video in Boston comes after an horrific tape of a South Carolina police officer shooting dead a man who was running away from him.
However, the Boston surveillance tape reveals very different circumstances.
The Boston video shows the start of the shootout between police and West on Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury, which left West dead and Moynihan, a 34-year-old former Army Ranger, badly wounded.
The video shows the unmarked police car pulling over the suspicious vehicle after shots were fired in the neighborhood. West and an accomplice were both convicted felons.
None of the officers have their weapons drawn as they approach the car. Moynihan leans into the driver’s-side window.
West, the driver, pulls a .357 magnum and shoots Moynihan point blank in the face. Miraculously the bullet passed through his head without causing fatal damage. West continues to shoot at other officers trying to escape but is gunned down.
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans, says Moynihan is improving and could be released within the next few days.
“It is remarkable the lack of damage, and strength of him, especially when you see this video,” Evans said Friday. “He’s a strong, brave police officer . . . and hopefully one day will be able to come back to the Police Department.”
African American community leaders who viewed the shooting on the video had no complaints about the police officers reactions. The Rev. Mark V. Scott, associate pastor at Azusa Christian Community in Dorchester stated “When a person pulls a gun on a police officer, most people believe you don’t leave the police any other option but to respond.”
West has a long criminal record dating back at least 24 years, with multiple gun, drug, and assault charges.