2 Mass. officers wounded in ambush expected to recover

Matthew Donoghue has been released from the hospital and Bill Cushing is expected to be released soon


By Mary Whitfill and Joe Difazio
The Patriot Ledger

BRAINTREE, Mass. — One of two police officers injured in a firefight that left a suspect and police dog dead Friday is being released from Boston Medical Center. Officer Matthew Donoghue, 34, will leave the hospital Saturday afternoon after undergoing surgery for multiple gunshot wounds.

Donoghue was one of two officers shot multiple times Friday afternoon responding to a domestic violence call at a Braintree apartment complex. Officer Bill Cushing, a 15-year veteran of the force, was also shot, officials said at a press conference Saturday afternoon.

Braintree Police Chief Mark Dubois said Donoghue — a nine-year police officer and four-year veteran of the Braintree police force — is "in good spirits."

"We are extremely happy he is being released," the chief said.

Cushing, 44, also came out of surgery at a local hospital last night. Dubois said he is expected to be released within the week.

Both officers were wearing bulletproof vests when they were shot.

"We are 100 percent behind our police," Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros said Saturday.

Cushing was one of six Braintree police officers to be honored for their bravery after exchanging gunfire with a suspect inside Motel 6 in 2017. The suspect in that exchange was killed by police after he shot Officer Donald Delaney in the head as he tried to serve a warrant.

At about 12:45 p.m. Friday, officers responded to a 911 call reporting a verbal domestic incident in the area of Braintree Village, a multi-building, 324-unit apartment complex on McCusker Drive. Officers spoke with the victim, a woman, who said a man had run into the woods behind the complex with two guns.

The two officers, in addition to a police K-9, went into the woods in search of the suspect. About 75 yards in, "They came under fire from someone in a defensive position," Morrissey said.

Both officers and the police dog were shot. The officers returned fire, shooting and killing the suspect. Other officers then came to help all involved and administered medical aid to all three injured people, Morrissey said.

The suspect was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Milton where he was pronounced dead. Cushing was taken to a local hospital and Donoghue was taken to Boston Medical Center. Both under went surgery.

A Braintree police dog named Kitt, a 12-year member of the force, was shot and killed in the altercation Friday. He was carried out of the woods wrapped in an American flag as officers saluted him Friday afternoon.

"He went out like a warrior. That dog was amazing," Deputy Chief of Braintree Police Tim Cohoon said Saturday.

Cushing was Kitt's longtime handler.

"It is very difficult when a handler and dog are separated," Cohoon said. "Handlers and their dog are together 24/7. They are always together."

Tributes for Kitt have been pouring in on social media since his death. The Braintree Police Department hung black bunting outside the station in honor of the dog, and flowers, candles and stuffed animals have been dropped off to honor him.

"Free Time Kitt," the department posted on Twitter. "We will forever miss you and always remember the good times we shared with you buddy. You went out a lion, protecting your dad and his partners."

Kitt assisted officers after a nonfatal shooting at South Shore Plaza last year, Cohoon said.

A few of Kitt's other moments of service are chronicled in Patriot Ledger archives.

In 2015, Kitt was credited with helping the police department track a shoplifter who was hiding underwater in a stream near South Shore Plaza.

The next year, police said Kitt was instrumental in finding and helping them catch a man who threatened to kill police officers. That man was ultimately shot by police and the district attorney's office said officers were justified in the shooting, using necessary force to protect themselves.

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(c)2021 The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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