Springfield police officer fatally shot in domestic call
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Springfield police officer responding to a domestic violence call was fatally shot Monday by a New York City correction officer who critically wounded his former girlfriend before taking his own life, authorities said.
Officer Kevin Ambrose went to the woman's Springfield apartment around 1 p.m. after she called 911 to say her former boyfriend, against whom she had just obtained a restraining order, was nearby and she feared for her life, Springfield police Commissioner William Fitchet said.
Ambrose arrived in a one-man patrol car and found 29-year-old Charlene Mitchell and 35-year-old Shawn Bryan, of Hempstead, N.Y., outside, Fitchet said. They went to Mitchell's apartment, where Bryan pushed Mitchell inside, followed her and slammed the door against Ambrose, who tried to get inside, according to Fitchet.
Bryan shot Ambrose through the door, opened it and fired at him again, then shot Mitchell, Fitchet said.
Fitchet said Bryan, who worked at the Riker's Island correction facility, apparently shot himself in the chest in his car outside Mitchell's apartment building.
"When you lose a comrade, it's sad. But when you lose a comrade in the law enforcement community, it's even worse. Especially when it's involving another law enforcement officer," said Norman Seabrook, Correction Officers Benevolent Association.
"I was like kind of scared, but I did go upstairs -- but I didn't go all the way, and I just saw the cop laying down sideways. He was looking to the wall," said Desiree Romero, a witness.
Romero said she heard several gun shots, then there was a knock on her door.
"She was scared, she was crying, she was saying, 'The cop got shot,' and then she said, 'My niece and her baby's upstairs,'" Romero said.
Romero called 911 and then went upstairs to find Officer Ambrose on the ground.
"I wanted to do something but I couldn't. I didn't dare to touch him, I didn't dare to say, 'Are you okay?' I was afraid that the guy was inside, so I just ran back down," said Romero.
Officers arriving to back up Ambrose found all three. Fitchet said Ambrose and Bryan were pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center and Mitchell was in critical condition there late Monday after undergoing surgery.
Mitchell had obtained the restraining order, to be served on Bryan, about 45 minutes before the shootings. In the restraining order, Bryan's girlfriend said he sent her a text message telling her, 'I'm going to make you wish you were not born.' 'The Springfield Republican newspaper reported that the court ordered Bryan to stay at least 100 yards from Mitchell and to have no contact with her or their 1-year-old child and to surrender his firearms to police. Police said the order allowed Bryan to pick up some of his belongings from Mitchell.
Ambrose, a 36-year veteran, is the first Springfield officer killed on duty in nearly 27 years. Fitchet said he is survived by his wife, two children and a grandchild.
Bryan's girlfriend was out of surgery and remained in critical condition Tuesday morning.
(Copyright (c) 2012 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)