Woburn officer to be honored for heroism during robbery
WOBURN, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Woburn police officer earned high praise for a heroic act. He saved the life of an injured co-worker when he returned fire on a robbery suspect.
“I knew there was going to be trouble. I knew within seconds that one of us could be dead,” said Officer Mark Gibbons, Woburn Police Department.
Woburn Police Officer Mark Gibbons talked to 7News about last September’s jewelry heist when he and a fellow officer were left staring down the barrel of a gun.
“We don’t shoot to kill. I mean, everybody says that or whatever. You shoot to stop them. You shoot to stay alive. That’s what you do,” Officer Gibbons said.
That’s what Officer Gibbons did when he was face to face with suspect gunman Antonio Matos -- one of four people in custody accused of trying to rob Musto Jewelers.
During a shootout with police, Officer Robert DeNapoli was badly injured. Matos fled, and Officer Gibbons chased him down.
“Your heart just pounds right out of your chest,” said Janice Gibbons, Officer Gibbons’ wife.
Janice Gibbons said she could barely breathe until she saw her husband again. She believes that he does deserve the prestigious 2011 Top Cop Award he will be honored with in Washington D.C. this weekend.
“It’s been a long seven months,” Janice Gibbons said.
Officer Gibbons, whose father is a retired police officer and whose brother died in the line of duty, says it was even longer for Officer DeNapoli, who still hasn’t returned to work.
“I don’t consider myself a hero or anything else. I’m lucky to be alive. Things could have been different. Obviously, I’m glad they weren’t,” Officer Gibbons said.