Update, 6:22 p.m.: Police Commissioner William Fitchet confirms death in the line of duty of Officer Kevin Ambrose at press conference.
Fitchet said Ambrose had a wife, 2 children and one grandchild.
Fitchet confirmed the shooter was Shawn Bryan, 35, of Hempstead, N.Y. Bryan is a corrections officer at Rikers Island in New York.
Fitchet confirmed the other shooting victim as Charlene Mitchell, 29, of 90 Lawton St. He said she is listed in critical condition at Baystate Medical Center.
Fitchet said Ambrose responded in a one-man car to a 911 call from Mitchell, who said that she had a restraining order regarding her boyfriend, that he was in the area and that she feared for her life.
Ambrose was the first to arrive, and other officers were on the way, Fitchet said. He said Ambrose was greeted by Mitchell with Bryan present. All went to the third-floor apartment, but Bryan shoved Mitchell into the apartment and closed the door.
Fitchet said Ambrose tried pushing the door open, and was shot through the door. Fitchet said Bryan then opened the door and shot Ambrose again, and then shot Mitchell.
Bryan went outside, went into his car and shot himself in the chest, Fitchet said.
He said Ambrose and Bryan were both pronounced dead at Baystate.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, during the press conference, said, “The whole city mourns the loss of Kevin Ambrose.”
In a prepared release, Sarno extended his “heartfelt condolences” to Ambrose’s family. Ambrose “wore his badge with honor and integrity and served our city with a tremendous amount of pride and passion,” Sarno said.
“The men and women in blue at the Springfield Police Department, like police departments throughout the country, are faced with very challenging, difficult and dangerous situations on a daily basis,” Sarno said in his statement. “For this, we owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to our police officers and their families. Today, Officer Ambrose paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting and serving the residents of our city. He will be sadly missed by his fellow officers and the community at large.”
Update, 5:53 p.m.: Court issued restraining order against Shawn Bryan less than an hour before deadly rampage that killed Springfield police officer. » Read the story
SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Police officer Kevin Ambrose was shot and killed responding to a domestic dispute Monday afternoon at the Lawton Arms apartment complex in the Sixteen Acres neighborhood.
An officer’s death was confirmed by Sgt. John Delaney, aide to Police Commissioner William Fitchet. The flag at police headquarters on Pearl Street was lowered to half staff.
An email sent from City Hall notifying city councilors and media that a City Council Casino Site Committee meeting had been canceled “Due to the death of Police Officer Kevin Ambrose.”
Springfield City Council President James J. Ferrera III said the regular council meeting Monday night and subcommittee meetings were canceled.
The cancellation is “in honor of Officer Kevin Ambrose who was killed today in a senseless act of violence,” Ferrera said.
The city and its citizens have been protected by Officer Ambrose for many years, Ferrera said.
“Myself and the members of the City Council grieve for him and his family,” Ferrera said.
Ambrose joined the Police Department in June 1976. He was a cadet for two years prior to joining the force.
Three people, including Ambrose, were shot. Shawn Bryan, 35, of Hempstead, N.Y., is the suspected shooter in the domestic dispute that also left Charlene Mitchell, 29, critically injured Bryan, a correctional officer at Rikers Island in New York City, apparently turned the gun on himself and killed himself following the 1 p.m. shooting.
More than a dozen police cars responded to the scene. The call came in just after 1 p.m.
A resident of Lawton Arms, Michael Palmer, said he saw a uniformed office being put into an ambulance. He said the officer did not appear to be conscious.
“I just heard a lot of police cars. There was a lot of a chaos going on. It was a very chaotic scene,” Palmer said.
It was nearly 27 years ago when two patrolmen, Alain Beauregard, 29, and Michael Schiavina, 28, were gunned down during a traffic stop, marking the last Springfield officers to lose their lives in the line of duty.
Ambrose became the 15th officer in city history to be mourned by his department after losing his life on the job.
Beauregard and Schiavina were shot to death during a traffic stop on Stebbins Street on Nov. 12, 1985. Eduardo “Eddie” Ortiz, 18, was driving the car, and killed both officers with an illegal .357-caliber Magnum as they approached his car. One day later, while in hiding and surrounded by police, Ortiz killed himself.
The passenger in the car that day, Juan Ortiz, was denied parole in April on his third request, previously denied in 2000 and 2005.
Each year, Springfield police remember their fallen police officers during a ceremony in front of police headquarters on Pearl Street. A monument there lists 13 police officers killed in the line of duty, and a 14th officer, Francis Sears, is included in the annual roll call of fallen officers, having suffered a heart attack during an interrogation in 1967, and was dead on arrival at the hospital.
The following is the list of Springfield officers listed as dying in the line of duty, and the dates of their deaths: Adelbert St. Marie, Aug. 31, 1934; Carl Rolf, Nov. 8, 1938; John P. Sullivan Sr., Feb. 2, 1940; Thomas F. Murphy, Feb. 2, 1940; Raymond Moriarty, Sept. 2, 1946; John W. Connors, Feb. 20, 1953; Leo Hamel, Oct. 31, 1955; Francis Sears, Sept. 11, 1967; Walter C. Juskiewicz, June 21, 1969; William R. Berte, Jan. 8, 1973; Richard D. Vigneault, April 11, 1973; Paul F. Mawaka, Oct. 30, 1973; Michael Schiavina, Nov. 12, 1985, and Alain Beauregard, Nov. 15, 1985.
Palmer, the resident who saw Ambrose being put on an ambulance, said crime has not been a problem in the area where the shooting occured. “Not at all,” he said.
Police blocked off State Street to provide a clear path for the ambulances. The ambulances were escorted by several police cruisers.
Michael Henderson said he was standing in front of Winn Liquors, which abuts Lawton Arms, when he heard four or five shots.
“I heard the loud gunshots. I heard kids yelling. I heard a few voices – very animated,” Henderson said.
Henderson said he lives in the neighborhood, which he described as quiet. “It’s kind of shocking. It’s kind of like something out of a movie,” he said. “It’s sad to hear an officer lost his life.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as our reporting continues
The map below shows the location of Lawton Arms:
View Lawton Arms apartment complex, Springfield in a larger map
SPRINGFIELD — Less than an hour before the first shots rang out, Shawn Bryan was ordered by the court to keep away from his estranged girlfriend.
Bryan, 35, of Hempstead, N.Y., is the suspected shooter in a domestic dispute at an apartment on Lawton Street in Sixteen Acres that claimed the life of Springfield police officer Kevin Ambrose and critically injured Charlene Mitchell, 29.
Bryan, a correctional officer at Rikers Island in New York City, apparently turned the gun on himself and killed himself following the 1 p.m. shooting.
Mitchell was granted a restraining order in Springfield District Court on Monday. According to documents obtained from the court, the order was issued at 12:15 p.m.
The court order mandated that Bryan was to stay away at least 100 yards from Mitchell, and to have no contact with her or their 1-year-old child.
It also notes that Bryan was to surrender his firearms to police.
Mitchell notes in the application that she feared “imminent physical harm” from Bryan, that he was at her home at that moment, and that she believed he was armed.
Mitchell was given a copy of the restraining order after it was issued at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, according to the court records. She was to have delivered the order to the Police Department so it could be served to Bryan.
Forty-five minutes later, Bryan opened fire while police were attempting to serve him the order.
Mitchell, in her application, noted a turbulent relationship and feared for the safety of her daughter and herself at the hands of Bryan, who she describes as “a demon.”
The two ended their relationship 11 months ago, but kept in touch with each other because Mitchell wanted him to have a relationship with his daughter. It was for that reason she allowed him to come to her apartment for visits.
“Shawn has been physical to me. He has always told me that he is crazy and his head is not good,” she wrote. “I have had problems with him from the day we started to date. “
Mitchell said Bryan had been scheduled to pick up a television set on Sunday at 11 a.m., but began calling and texting her on Saturday. “After he kept calling I did answer the phone and he just wanted to say he want(ed) it to be about the child and nothing else. I told him that I feel the same way, it is about her and that’s it.” At that point, Bryan asked if the child was awake and became angry when Mitchell said no and that she didn’t want to speak to him any longer, according to the court documents.
The text message with a threat then followed, according to Mitchell’s narrative. “He is a demon,” she wrote.
SPRINGFIELD – Monday’s killing of veteran patrolman Kevin Ambrosemarked the first death of a city police officer in the line of duty since the 1985 slayings of patrolmen Alain Beauregard and Michael Schiavina.
Beauregard, 29, and Schiavina, 28, were gunned down during a traffic stop on Nov. 12, 1985.
Ambrose became the 15th officer inPolice Department history to be mourned after losing his life on the job.
Beauregard and Schiavina were shot to death during a traffic stop on Stebbins Street in the Old Hill neighborhood. Eduardo “Eddie” Ortiz, 18, was driving the car, and killed both officers with a .357-caliber Magnum as they approached his car. One day later, while in hiding and surrounded by police, Ortiz killed himself.
The passenger in the car that day, Juan Ortiz, Eduardo Ortiz’s brother, was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder and sentenced to a life term with possible parole after serving 15 years. Juan Ortiz was denied parole in April on his third request — he had previously been denied parole in 2000 and 2005.
Each year, the Police Departmentremembers its fallen members with a ceremony in front of police headquarters on Pearl Street. A monument there lists 13 police officers killed in the line of duty; a 14th officer, Francis Sears, is included in the annual roll call of fallen officers, having suffered a heart attack during an interrogation in 1967, and pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
On Nov. 12, 2010, during a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the shooting of Schiavina and Beauregard, Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet said the passing of a quarter century had not lessened the feelings of loss nor diminished the depths of the sacrifices of Beauregard, Schiavina and their families.
During the ceremony, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said Schiavina and Beauregard would always be remembered as “sentinels of peace.”
In Holyoke, Police Officer John A. DeNapoli was shot dead inside his unmarked police cruiser on Dec. 22, 1999. DeNapoli, was 52 and had been a police officer for 22 years when he answered a disturbance call and was shot five times by Eddie O. Morales, who is serving a life sentence after a first-degree murder conviction.