Witnesses: ‘Friendly fire’ may have struck MBTA officer

MBTA Officer Richard Donohue, 33, is slowly recovering from a serious gun shot wound sustained during a shoot out with Boston bombing suspects.
MBTA Officer Richard Donohue, 33, is slowly recovering from a serious gunshot wound sustained during a shootout with Boston bombing suspects.

An eyewitness to the Watertown shootout with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects said an MBTA Transit Police officer may have been wounded by friendly fire.

Officer Richard “Dic” Donohue is recovering at Mount Auburn Hospital from a gunshot wound to his upper right thigh. Doctors said Donohue lost so much blood during the April 19 shootout that he nearly died, but he’s now expected to make a full recovery.

Donohue and his partner were among the first officers on scene at the intersection of Dexter Avenue and Laurel Street, where bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stopped the SUV they allegedly carjacked earlier that night.

At least a dozen officers from four different police agencies engaged in gunfire with the suspects, with about 300 bullets fired in all. The Tsarnaevs also reportedly launched explosives at the police, including at least one bomb similar to the pressure cookers used at the marathon finish line.

Witnesses told the Boston Globe that Donohue appeared to have been wounded near the end of the confrontation, after Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and his brother Dzhokhar was driving away.

Jane Dyson lives just 140 feet away from where Donohue went down and provided a statement of what she saw to the Globe.

“A black SUV appeared, and rapid gun fire was focused on the vehicle,” Dyson wrote. “It appeared to me that an individual at the corner [of the street] fell to the ground and had probably been hit in the gunfire.”

“I later learned that the individual who had been shot was Officer Richard Donohue,” Dyson said. Her statement was supported by two other eyewitnesses to the shootout.

State police said the investigation into how Donohue was wounded is still in process, but defended the officers’ actions.

“Considering the chaos on those dark streets, where a pair of homicidal terrorists were firing shots and throwing bombs at police, the fact that friendly-fire incidents may have ­occurred detracts nothing, not one bit, from the valor and heroism of the officers and troopers who caught up to them that night,” state police spokesman David Procopio told the Globe.

An expert on law enforcement tactics agreed.

“It’s arguably a wartime situation,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police ­Executive Research Forum. “Police agencies are not generally prepared for the kind of wartime situation that these officers encountered.”

The Middlesex District Attorney’s office is investigating two other possible “friendly fire” incidents from that night. In one, another Transit Police officer was grazed by a bullet; in the third, a Boston vehicle was damaged after an officer shot at it, apparently believing it to be the suspects’ SUV.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Local

NYPD: Stroller carrying 2-year-old rolls onto Queens subway…

A 2-year-old girl in a stroller rolled onto subway tracks in Queens on Monday morning, police said.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a different kind of genius…

The man known worldwide for his portrayal of London's eccentric private detective Sherlock Holmes is trading his Belstaff coat for tweed this fall. Benedict Cumberbatch…

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.