President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have praised Boston police officer John T. Moynihan, who was shot in the face Friday night, and said they are praying for his recovery. Vice President Joe Biden visited Moynihan in hospital on Monday.

The 34-year-old Irish American cop was shot in the face during a traffic stop on Friday night. Boston Police Department said they had shot and killed the shooter Angelo West (41). Moynihan successfully underwent several hours of surgery to remove a bullet from his neck. He is expected to be released from the intensive care unit in the coming days.

Moynihan a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq, was honored for his role in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. In 2014 he received a National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award for his role as a first responder after the April 2013 gun battle with the Boston Marathon bombers, in Watertown.

During a speech at the opening of the Edward M Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate Obama said “Boston, know that Michelle and I have joined our prayers with yours these past few days for a hero, former Army ranger and Boston Police Officer John Moynihan, who was shot in the line of duty Friday night.

The President added that both he and Biden had met Moynihan in 2014 at a White House ceremony. Moynihan was honored for his heroism during the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Obama said “I mention him because last year at the White House, the vice president and I had the chance to honor Officer Moynihan as one of America’s top cops for his bravery in the line of duty for risking his life to save a fellow officer.

“Thanks to the heroes of Boston Medical Center, I’m told Officer Moynihan is awake and talking, and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

The Boston Police Department sent tweets to both leaders saying:

On Sunday Police Commissioner William Evans and Cardinal Sean O’Malley visited Moynihan following a “Mass of Healing” at St. Patrick's Church, in Roxbury.

Bostonians, police, fire and EMS personnel, and members of the Massachusetts State Police and others were in attendance.

Evan’s said “I'm thankful to the doctors and medical team at Boston Medical Center for taking such good care of my officer.

“I was happy to hear that he made it through surgery without any complications. It shows you what a strong kid he is and what a great medical team they have here at Boston Medical Center."

John T. Moynihan recovering well after being shot at point blank range in the face while on duty on Friday night.Boston Police Department