List of 2013 Massachusetts police shootings

Below is a list of shootings by state, county, and local Massachusetts police officers that took place during 2013 and were reported on by the news media. In total, there were at least 44 shootings reported on by the news media. All but one of the shootings involved police who were on-duty at the time. In addition to these 44 shootings reported, I am aware of at least one shooting that was not reported on. It is possible that other police shootings occurred in 2013 that were not reported on.

Definitions

Date: The date the shooting occurred Agency: The police departments that employs the shooters Location: The street address where the shooting took place Shooter(s): The names of any police officers who fired shots during the incident Victim(s): Anyone who was hit by police gunfire during the incident Weapon: The weapon police said the victim had when they shot (if applicable)

Media reports: A list of newspaper articles and TV news segments about the shooting incident

The list

1. Boston police fatally shoot dog

Date: 01/19/2013 Agency: Boston Police Department Location: Dorchester, Boston, MA (street unknown) Shooter(s): Unknown Victim(s): Dog (killed) Weapon: N/A

Media reports:


2. Massachusetts State Police shoot and injure Gene F. Guilbault

Date: 01/23/2013 Agency: Massachusetts State Police Location: Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot, 600 Page Street, Avon, MA Shooter(s): Unknown (two shooters) Victim(s): Gene F. Guilbault (injured) Weapon: Vehicle

Media reports:


3. Suspended MBTA detective shoots up wall of New Hampshire hotel room, points gun at police during standoff

Date: 02/14/2013 Agency: MBTA Police Department Location: Radisson Hotel, Tara Boulevard, Nashua, NH Shooter(s): Detective Gary R. McKeon Victim(s): N/A Weapon: N/A Notes: Off-duty officer

Media reports:


4. Chicopee police officer "accidentally" shot in the face by another officer during Tactical Unit training exercise

Date: 02/25/2013 Agency: Chicopee Police Department Location: Patriot Avenue, Chicopee, MA Shooter(s): Unknown Victim(s): Unknown (injured) Weapon: N/A

Media reports:


5. Boston police officer shoots dog in the paw, injuring it

Date: 02/28/2013 Agency: Boston Police Department Location: 3 Beauford Lane, Boston, MA Shooter(s): Unknown Victim(s): Dog (injured) Weapon: N/A

Media reports:


6. Police dog handled by Essex County Sheriff's lieutenant discharges firearm that was buried in the snow with its paw

Date: 03/02/2013 Agency: Essex County Sheriff's Department Location: Crescent Street, Lawrence, MA Shooter(s): Ivan (dog handled by Lieutenant John Pickles) Victim(s): No one hit Weapon: N/A

Media reports:


7. Lawrence police officer shoots dog to death after it reportedly tried to attack several people

Date: 03/02/2013 Agency: Lawrence Police Department Location: 28 Summer Street, Lawrence, MA Shooter(s): Eric Cerullo Victim(s): Dog (killed) Weapon: N/A

Media reports:


8. Revere police officer shoots and injures dog that was mauling teen

Date: 03/23/2013 Agency: Revere Police Department Location: Construction site behind the Northgate Shopping Center at 300 Squire Rd, Revere, MA Shooter(s): Mike Mullen Victim(s): Dog (injured) Weapon: N/A


9. Boston police officer fires weapon at person who allegedly threatened him while investigating active shooting scene

Date: 03/26/2013 Agency: Boston Police Department Location: Corner of Warren and Waverly streets, Boston, MA Shooter(s): Unknown officer from the Youth Violence Strike Force Victim(s): Unknown person shot at, but not hit Weapon: Firearm

Media reports:


10. New Bedford police exchange gunfire with suicidal John Hernandez

Date: 03/28/2013 Agency: New Bedford Police Department Location: Southcoast Condominiums, Phillips Road, New Bedford, MA Shooter(s): Unknown Victim(s): John Hernandez shot at, but not hit Weapon: Firearm

Media reports:


11. Wilbraham police officer shoots dog to death

Date: 03/29/2013 Agency: Wilbraham Police Department Location: Boston Road, Wilbraham, MA Shooter(s): Thomas Korzec Victim(s): Dog (killed) Weapon: N/A

Media reports:


12. Tamerlan Tsarnaev killed, others injured during police gunfight with Boston Marathon bombing suspects

Date: 04/19/2013 Agency: Watertown Police Department, Mass. State Police, Boston Police Department, MBTA Police Department Location: Intersection of Dexter Avenue and Laurel Street, Watertown, MA Shooter(s): Unknown Victim(s): Tamerlan Tsarnaev (killed), Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (injured), Richard H. Donohue Jr. (may have been injured by friendly fire), unknown MBTA police officer (may have been injured by friendly fire) Weapon: Firearms, explosives

Media reports:


13. Police shoot at unarmed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Date: 04/19/2013 Agency: Watertown Police Department, Mass. State Police, MBTA Police Department Location: 67 Franklin Street, Watertown, MA Shooter(s): Unknown Victim(s): Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (injured) Weapon: Unarmed

Media reports:


14. State police exchange gunfire with suspect during foot chase

Date: 05/02/2013 Agency: Massachusetts State Police Location: Amherst Street, Brockton, MA Shooter(s): Unknown Gang Unit officers Victim(s): One person shot at, but not hit Weapon: Firearm

Media reports:

Interactive map of 2013 Massachusetts police shootings

This is a map of the police shootings that occurred in Massachusetts during 2013. For a list of the shootings, see here.

Two shooting incident were not included on the map. One was not included because it occurred in New Hampshire. A second shooting was not listed because there were no media reports indicating the street address where the shooting took place. The incident took place in Dorchester when a Boston police officer fatally shot a dog.

Data tables about police shootings

Table 1 -- Police shootings in Massachusetts (data comparison)

This table compares data on police shootings compiled by the magazine CommonWealth with data on "justifiable homicides" gathered by the FBI and data on "arrest-related deaths" gathered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Year CommonWealth Magazine Uniform Crime Reports Arrest-Related Deaths Program
1980 -- 2 --
1981 -- 7 --
1982 -- 8 --
1983 -- 4 --
1984 -- 1 --
1985 -- 1 --
1986 -- 1 --
1987 -- 0 --
1988 -- 2 --
1989 -- 1 --
1990 -- 0 --
1991 -- 0 --
1992 -- 0 --
1993 -- 0 --
1994 -- 0 --
1995 -- 2 --
1996 -- 0 --
1997 -- 1 --
1998 -- 0 --
1999 -- 1 --
2000 -- 1 --
2001 -- 1 --
2002 7 0 --
2003 4 4 2
2004 5 1 2
2005 3 1 2
2006 4 1 ?
2007 3 0 ?
2008 8 0 ?
2009 6 ? ?
2010 6 ? ?
2011 7 ? ?
2012 8 ? ?
2013 12 ? ?
Totals 73 40 18*

* The Bureau of Justice Statistics has published data for the years 2003 - 2009. They have published yearly state-by-state data, however, they have only published yearly data for each state for the years 2003 - 2005.

Table 2 -- "Justifiable homicides" by police in the US (FBI data)

This table shows all "justifiable homicides" by police throughout the United States that were tracked by the FBI. The data from 1968 - 1994 was taken from the report "Policing and Homicide, 1976-98." The data for all subsequent years was taken from various yearly UCR reports. I always used the most recent UCR report that listed the estimate for a year because the FBI sometimes revises their estimates with more accurate figures.

Year Justifiable homicides by police
1968 395
1969 424
1970 412
1971 557
1972 469
1973 492
1974 553
1975 559
1976 415
1977 311
1978 313
1979 442
1980 457
1981 381
1982 376
1983 406
1984 332
1985 321
1986 298
1987 296
1988 339
1989 362
1990 379
1991 359
1992 414
1993 453
1994 459
1995 389
1996 357
1997 366
1998 369
1999 308
2000 309
2001 378
2002 341
2003 373
2004 367
2005 347
2006 386
2007 398
2008 378
2009 414
2010 397
2011 404
2012 410

homicidesbypolice

FBI data on "justifiable homicides" by police

While researching police shootings, I contacted the FBI to obtain information about its research on the number of "justifiable homicides" by police officers. The FBI gathers data about "justifiable homicides" by police as part of the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), the FBI's crime statistics program. The FBI has gathered data about "justifiable homicides" by police since the 60′s, however, they only provided detailed data for 1980 to 2008. The data they provided includes information about the age, sex, and race, of the police officers and victims as well as the type of weapon used by police.

I am publishing all the data I was provided with here with the hope that it will spur more interest in researching police shootings.

To understand the abbreviations used in the data, you will need to consult the coding guide.

One thing that initially confused me about the data was who the "victim" and "offender" referred to. A customer service representative for the UCR program explained that the "offender" is the police officer responsible for the homicide and the "victim" is the person they kill.

"A justifiable homicide is entered into the database in the same format as a homicide—what indicates it is justifiable is the circumstance code (80=justifiable by citizen, 81=justifiable by law enforcement). The 'offender' for a justifiable homicide is the citizen or law enforcement officer who caused the death of the 'victim' (the person justifiably killed)," they explained in an email.

Here is a list of all the files:

*The file for 2005 contains data for justifiable homicides by both police and non-police. The FBI initially did not provide a file for 2005. They later said they did not have a file that only had homicides by police, so they provided a file with all justifiable homicides.

For more information about the FBI's program for tracking "justifiable homicides" by police, see the report "Policing and Homicide, 1976-98." and the FBI's yearly UCR reports.

How the Bureau of Justice Statistics gathers arrest-related death data

While researching police shootings, I interviewed (via email) Andrea Burch, the statistician who is currently in charge of the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Arrest-Related Deaths Program which purports to track the number of people killed by the police each year. Below, I have published her responses to my questions to provide some insight on how BJS gathers its data.

Interview with Andrea Burch

Q: When was the arrest-related deaths program started?

A: In response to the Deaths in Custody Reporting Act (DICRA) of 2000, BJS initiated the ARD program in 2003. The ARD program was the third of the three data collections that BJS developed in response to DICRA, the other two were collections of deaths in local jails and in state prisons. A more detailed history of the program can be found on the ARD website under the “About ARD” tab: https://www.bjsard.org/AboutARD.aspx

Q: What methods are used to gather the data? How are police departments made aware of the program? Is there a vetting process after the data is collected?

A: BJS collects the data through State Reporting Coordinators (SRCs) in each state and the District of Columbia. The SRCs are responsible for identifying and reporting to BJS information about each death in the process of an arrest. SRCs are responsible for identifying deaths that are within the scope of the ARD program, collecting information about these deaths, and transmitting this information to BJS through submission of the CJ-11 Arrest-Related Deaths Summary Report and CJ-11A Arrest-Related Death Incident Report.

SRCs use a variety of methods to identify ARD-reportable deaths, including relying upon centralized reporting systems on violent deaths that occur in their states, using direct contacts with law enforcement agencies, obtaining information from medical examiner/coroner’s offices, and/or conducting systematic open-source searches. Once SRCs identify an arrest-related death, they follow-up with the law enforcement agency involved with the death to obtain the data necessary to complete a CJ-11A Incident Report. In instances where the involved law enforcement agency does not complete the CJ-11A form, the SRC completes the form using information from official source documents (e.g., police report/press release, death certificate, legal proceedings).

Law enforcement agencies are made aware of the ARD program through contact with SRCs. Some SRCs will proactively contact their state’s law enforcement agencies and distribute information about the ARD program. In this instance, SRCs encourage law enforcement agencies to take a direct role in identifying deaths and reporting information. Other SRCs will take a more targeted approach and contact law enforcement agencies after an arrest-related death has been identified.

In addition, law enforcement agencies are made aware of the ARD program through communications from BJS and members of professional law enforcement associations. For example, ARD program staff (i.e., BJS, BJS’ national data collection agent) may reach out to a law enforcement agency and request participation in the program. In addition, BJS staff may discuss and distribute materials about the ARD program during meetings with law enforcement officials. Law enforcement agencies may also become aware of the program through information disseminated through professional associations. For example, there might be a presentation about ARD at an annual meeting or an article about the program in an association newsletter or other publication.

Data are submitted to BJS by each state’s SRC. The SRC offices are typically located within state criminal justice commissions (commonly administered by the governor’s office) as well as in state attorney general offices, state police departments, and state medical examiner offices. All data are collected on a standard CJ-11A Incident report and can be completed through the use of both paper and electronic forms. SRCs completing the CJ-11A Incident Report in place of a law enforcement agency may obtain information about the death through a phone interview and then record the information in a standard CJ-11A form. Submitted data are vetted by ARD program staff.

Q: Is the data a fairly accurate representation of how many arrest-related deaths occur or are there any problems with under-reporting or over-reporting?

A: BJS is undertaking a study to determine the scope of coverage of the ARD data and to determine if there is undercoverage.

Q: Which law enforcement agencies submit data? Does the program cover local police, state police, campus police, sheriff's departments, and federal law enforcement, or only some of these types of police agencies?

A: The ARD program covers all state (e.g., State Police, Highway Patrol) and local (e.g., police departments, sheriffs’ offices, campus police, transit authority). BJS does not release information about specific agencies reporting to the ARD program. Information about the number of agencies with recorded arrest-related deaths is presented at the state-level in the BJS publication, “Arrest-Related Deaths, 2003-2009 – Statistical Tables” (Table 11, pg. 10). Federal law enforcement agencies are not within the scope of the ARD program and deaths occurring during the process of arrest by federal officers are not recorded in the ARD collection.

Q: Are there any changes that will be made to the program in the future? Are there any changes you would like to make to the program, but lack the resources to make?

A: BJS is undertaking a review and assessment of the program. When the review is complete, I am charged with using the information from the assessment to make recommendations to the BJS director about the program.

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