01:04 - Source: WCVB
Video shows man shoot cop at close range

Story highlights

NEW: Boston Police Officer John Moynihan is released from the hospital

Video shows that the man later shot dead by police in Boston opened fire first

Moynihan was shot in the face during a traffic stop

CNN —  

To allay possible concerns, Boston prosecutors released video Friday of the shooting of a police officer last month that resulted in the killing of the gunman.

The officer wounded, John Moynihan, is white. Angelo West, the gunman shot to death by officers, was black.

After the shooting, community leaders in the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Roxbury, where the shooting occurred, were quick to call for calm. One said the officers were forced to return fire.

Still, they were glad to see the video released for the sake of transparency.

“I think people understand that the decisions Mr. West made put his life in grave jeopardy,” clergyman Mark V. Scott told CNN affiliate WCVB.

West had several prior gun convictions, police said.

Angelo West, 41, was shot and killed Friday after allegedly shooting a Boston police officer.
Boston Police Department
Angelo West, 41, was shot and killed Friday after allegedly shooting a Boston police officer.

Police officer and former U.S. Army Ranger John Moynihan was honored at the White House less than a year ago as one of the nation’s “Top Cops” for helping to save a transit officer wounded in a gunbattle with the Boston Marathon bombers.

Officer recovering

Last month, he became a gunshot victim when he and other officers in unmarked cars, but with blue lights flashing, stopped the car West was driving.

When Moynihan opened the driver’s-side door, the video shows, West sprang out and fired a shot with a pistol at the officer’s face. As West ran away, he fired back at the other officers with his .357 Magnum handgun, police said. They returned fire and killed him.

Moynihan, 34, survived with a bullet wound under one eye. He was placed in a medically induced coma at a Boston hospital.

On Saturday, Moynihan was released from the hospital.

“His condition is best described as serious but improving,” Boston police said in a statement. “In the days after the shooting, John and his family have been strengthened, humbled and inspired by the outpouring of love and support they’ve received – not only from his closest friends and fellow officers – but also from concerned citizens and strangers from all over the country wishing him a full and speedy recovery.”

A woman who was driving by at the time of the shooting suffered a flesh wound in the right arm. She was not identified.

Two passengers in the car were arrested on unrelated charges involving an outstanding warrant and a probation violation.

“None of our officers like to use their firearms,” Police Commissioner William Evans said at the time. “It’s probably the worst thing we have to do in our profession, but here, clearly unprovoked, one of our officers is shot point-blank in the face.”

Bombing heroism

In April 2013, Moynihan was among officers who helped save transit officer Richard H. Donohue Jr., who was shot during a gunfight involving Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the days after the marathon bombings.

Police fired nearly 300 rounds within five to 10 minutes. One round nearly killed Donohue.

Moynihan and other Massachusetts officers were cited for their “heroic and relentless” life-saving measures on Donohue, who nearly lost his entire blood volume on the Watertown street.

At a White House ceremony in May, President Barack Obama honored Moynihan and 52 other officers as “America’s Top Cops.

Officer is ‘a tough kid’

At a news conference, Evans and local leaders sought to allay community concerns at a time when officer-involved shootings have led to protests throughout the nation. Moynihan is white; West was black.

The Rev. Mark Scott of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston said Moynihan was shot “assassination-style.” He called for calm in the predominantly black Roxbury section.

“This is not about ‘Black Lives Matter,’” he said, referring to a protest movement that emerged after the shootings. “It’s about all-the-lives-in-the-community matter and it’s about the police … responding to a concern from the community.”

“It’s about ‘All Lives in the Community Matter,’ and it’s about the police … responding to a concern from the community.”

CNN’s Ann O’Neill contributed to this report.