SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Officer Kevin Ambrose, a 36-year department veteran, was killed in the line-of-duty Monday, while responding to a call in Springfield's Sixteen Acres neighborhood. A corrections officer from New York, who police say killed Ambrose, is also dead, while his estranged girlfriend remains in critical condition.
At a news conference Monday evening , Police Commissioner William Fitchet identified the shooter as Shawn Bryan of Hempstead, Long Island; who works at Rikers Island in New York City.
According to Fitchet, around 1:00, Ofc Ambrose responded to a call at 90 Lawton Street Apt 5 from 29 year-old Charlene Mitchell, who was complaining that her ex-boyfriend from New York (against whom she had a restraining order) was in the area, and she was afraid.
Ambrose arrived at the Lawton Arms Apartments, and greeted Mitchell outside. Bryan was nearby, and the three of them then headed toward Mitchell's apartment. Once they got outside the door, Bryan forced Mitchell inside the apartment, leaving Ambrose out in the hall. As Ambrose tried to get in, Bryan shot him through the door. He then opened the door and shot Ambrose again. Fitchet says Bryan then shot Mitchell, before running out to his car, where he fatally shot himself in the chest.
All three were taken to Baystate Medical Center after other officers attempted CPR. Ambrose and Bryan had died by the time they arrived. Mitchell entered surgery and is listed in critical condition.
At the time of the call, Ambrose was riding in a one-man car. Other officers were called to the Lawton Arms, but they had not yet arrived at the time of the shooting.
The nearby Duggan Middle School was temporarily put on lockdown, according to Springfield Public Schools spokesperson Azell Cavaan. She said that no one was allowed to enter or exit for about five minutes, but the lockdown was lifted after the area deemed "safe" by police.
The shooting frightened neighbors in what is normally a quiet section of the city.
"I heard a couple of maintenance men come running in there and saying that somebody had been shot and that we had to leave the area," neighbor Theresa Leonard said. "I was nervous and I was kind of shocked because this never happened before."
This marks the first deadly shooting of a Springfield Police Officer since the killings of Officers Michael Schiavina and Alain Beauregard on Stebbins Street in November 1985.
Memorial arrangements are currently being made for Officer Ambrose.