Police Say Carjack Chase Provoked Shooting
An alleged Adams Corner carjacking led to a wild chase Monday night, with Boston police pursuing and shooting a suspect before apprehending him at the corner of Savin Hill Avenue and Dorchester Avenue.
Police say Michael Gavin, a 22-year-old Quincy man with a reported history of substance abuse, confronted a female Brooks Pharmacy employee in the Brooks parking lot with a sharp object resembling a gun shortly after 5:30 p.m. According to police reports, Gavin threatened the woman and then drove off in her black Nissan Altima. The woman flagged down an Area C-11 officer walking a holiday beat, and several police cruisers closed in on the vehicle, cornering it twice before Gavin was arrested after a struggle outside another Brooks Pharmacy, this one in Savin Hill.
According to officers at the scene, the cruisers boxed in the Altima twice, including one time outside the Lucky Strike Lanes bowling alley at the corner of Park and Adams streets. C-11 Captain Tom Lee said Gavin struck a female officer with his vehicle and was fired upon twice by a male officer, one bullet striking him in the shoulder blade.
Both officers were taken to hospitals, where they were treated and released. Gavin was released Tuesday after suffering a minor gunshot wound police said.
Both the police department and the Suffolk County district attorney's office are investigating the shooting. Questioned about the incident Tuesday night outside a Fields Corner Civic Group meeting, acting BPD Commissioner James Hussey said "the totality of circumstances are being evaluated" by the department, in light of a controversial departmental mandate issued last year that forbids officers to shoot into a moving vehicle unless threatened by a second potential weapon.
David Procopio, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said the police department would look into whether or not the incident violated its own policy, while the DA's office conducts another investigation examining the legality of the shooting.
"The investigation into the shooting is a part of the procedure," Procopio said Tuesday. "We and the Boston Police will investigate."
"Obviously, it's always something that the community feels strongly about, as they should," Procopio said. "We do understand that these are very serious matters for the community, but ultimately it's the facts and the law that we base the case on."
Hussey said an internal investigation would "do a complete investigation to ensure that department policy and procedure were followed," but declined to comment on exactly what happened. "I don't want to speculate," he said. "That's the worst thing I could do."
According to one officer at the scene of the arrest Monday night, another walking patrol picked up the vehicle after pursuant police cars lost sight of it near Ashmont Station. Traveling down Adams St. on the wrong side of the road, the car met a group of cruisers near Lucky Strike, the officer said, a report corroborated Tuesday by Lee. Ramming its way out of the trap, the vehicle was fired upon and renewed its flight, banking onto Clayton Street and then onto Freeport St. With cruisers tailing him, Gavin allegedly broke out onto Dorchester Ave. and tried to make a right onto Savin Hill Ave., where the Altima collided with a Honda Accord.
Gavin was held on $20,000 cash bail and arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Dorchester District Court on several charges, including carjacking, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault and battery, driving with a suspended license, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, leaving the scene of an accident, speeding, and marked lane violations. Procopio said the Quincy man was due in court for a pretrial hearing on Dec. 30.
According to an article in the Boston Globe, Gavin sought treatment for drug and alcohol abuse as recently as Sunday. At the Fields Corner meeting outside the Kit Clark Center on Dorchester Ave., Sergeant Herb White warned that carjackers employ techniques such as hiding in unlocked cars or lying under cars for potential victims to arrive. White cautioned drivers to be wary when they approach their cars.
Boston police responded to another Dorchester-related incident early on Tuesday morning, approaching a home on Metropolitan Street in Hyde Park, only to hear two gunshots and find Henry Browne, 22, dead after an apparent suicide.
Procopio said Browne was a suspect in a Sunday stabbing incident at 19 Bodwell St. in which a woman suffered stab wounds to her head, face, and chest. By the time police responded to the call, Procopio said, Browne was gone.
Investigations led police to the Hyde Park home early Tuesday morning. Procopio said an investigation into the apparent suicide was ongoing.
Browne was out on a $5,000 cash bail from a pending domestic violence charge stemming from an April incident on Hartford Street in which he allegedly brandished a hand gun, struck a woman in the face, and then fired the weapon. The woman was the mother of Browne's child, Procopio said.