The commander of one of Dorchester's two main police districts narrowly escaped death last week when he was ambushed by a desperate fugitive in the basement of a Franklin Field duplex. In a Wednesday afternoon shootout, the gunman unloaded a total of five bullets at close range at Area B-3 Captain Timothy Murray, who returned fire and felled the suspect with two bullets from his own service revolver. Murray, who suffered a sprained ankle in the incident, was otherwise unhurt, an outcome that one police source familiar with the incident called "the grace of God."
The alleged gunman, 37-year-old Dennis Winborne of Maynard, was arraigned on a variety of charges in his hospital bed last week. A second suspect, Jamal Davis, was also arrested at the scene. Both men were the subject of a police manhunt that began shortly after 11:30 a.m., when the pair are alleged to have abducted a man at gunpoint from an Abbot Street home. The kidnapped man was released unharmed a short time later near Dudley Square, but police, armed with a description of the car and a license plate, continued to hunt for the alleged home invaders.
Shortly after noon time, a B-3 police patrol car spotted the wanted car in the vicinity of Franklin Field. The suspects eluded police in a brief car chase, but ditched the vehicle on Wales Street, where police formed a perimeter and began a yard-to-yard, door-to-door search for the two men.
After a 20-minute search of the sidestreets, Murray and B-3's Sergeant Ford, began a search of a duplex on Esmond Street, where a basement door was found ajar.
A police source familiar with the investigation, who refused to be identified, said that Murray and Ford were "re-checking the building" and discovered the suspects hiding in a recess of the basement.
"Murray was ambushed. The gunman fired two rounds at Murray from the hole and then jumped out and the two engaged in a close-quarter gun battle. The suspect was was felled by two bullets by Captain Murray," said the source.
Murray was not available to speak publicly to reporters this week and is temporarily out of service recuperating from an ankle injury sustained during the incident.
Winborne, who allegedly shot at Murray, is held on $100,000 cash bail pending his release from the hospital.
Davis, who uses an alias Jamal Copeland, is being held on $30,000 bail.
Over the River and Through the Woods
By coincidence, the Reporter was interviewing Captian Murray in his Blue Hill Avenue office when the initial call for the Abbot Street home invasion came into the station last Wednesday morning. At the time, Murray was discussing an incident two days earlier on October 11 in which two other fugitives were captured by B-3 police after an apparent drive-by shooting on Norfolk Street.
According to Murray, "outstanding police work" resulted in the arrest of Blake Field and Jamal Williamson, each of whom has been charged in a shooting incident last Monday in which an unidentifted Mattapan man was shot in the hand. An eyewitness to the 11:30 a.m. incident near Elizabeth Street used their cell phone to call police, reporting that two men in a maroon mini-van had fired on the man and sped off towards Babson Street. Officer William Willis, a K-9 officer attached to Area B-3, saw the van and gave chase. The two suspects bailed out of the van near Ryan Playground on River Street and attempted to escape into the nearby woods along the Neponset River. Fields, pursued by Willis and his dog Nero, attempted to swim and wade across the river, but was tackled mid-stream by officer Jake Elwood. The second suspect, Williamson, was captured at gunpoint by Elwood and officers Tommy Griffiths, and Sgt. Mike Kern in thick woods near the riverbank.
According to Murray, detectives found a firearm in the mini-van and both men were found to have narcotics on their persons. Both men are thought to be part of an "ongoing gang feud", according to Murray, that involves young men in the Norfolk Street area. Field was out on bail posted after an April shooting incident in which he is alleged to have fired on two Mattapan teens near Blue Hill Avenue.