The Suffolk District Attorney will not be filing charges against police officers who were involved in the deadly shooting of Angelo West last year, officials announced Tuesday.
West, 41, was killed by police in March 2015 during a traffic stop in Roxbury.
A video released at the time by the department seemed to show West suddenly shoot Boston Police Officer John Moynihan in the face after the officer opened West’s driver side door.
District Attorney Daniel Conley said his office’s investigation of the shootout confirms other officers at the scene acted lawfully when they returned fire on West.
“The video evidence and witness statements all establish that Officer Moynihan opened the Nissan’s driver’s side door to allow Mr. West to step out of the SUV,” Conley said. “Without warning or provocation, Mr. West raised a Rossi .357 Magnum revolver and fired directly at Officer Moynihan’s face. But for the fact that the weapon was loaded with .38 caliber ammunition, Officer Moynihan would undoubtedly have been killed. Instead, he fell to the ground grievously wounded.”
Police also released a supercut of surveillance and cellphone footage of the shootout
Conley added that witnesses told investigators that West said he would rather die than go to jail, and that a medical examiner later discovered 14 bags of crack cocaine from West’s body.
Anywhere from 24 to 26 bullets were fired in the exchange, Conley said. A woman who was accidentally struck by an officer’s bullet in her shoulder was also hospitalized with minor injuries.
“It’s a tragedy,” Police Commissioner William Evans told NECN. “We lost Angelo west and I always says I feel bad for his family but he tried to kill one of my officers and they had to do what they had to do, nobody takes joy in doing that.”
Evans also told the network that Moynihan — an Iraq war veteran who was involved in the Watertown shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers — “will be returning to duty soon.”