Metro

In Falmouth, two officers are shot, and suspect is ‘hit a number of times’

**PLEASE - DO NOT POST THIS ANYWHERE ON SITE UNTIL AFTER 11:00:00 PM** (july 27) JULY 27,2018, Falmouth, MA- A suspect is arrested after two Falmouth Police officers were shot. please credit this way ; FROM BOSTON 25 NEWS
From Boston 25 News
A suspect was arrested after two Falmouth Police officers were shot.

FALMOUTH — Two Falmouth police officers were wounded during a shootout with a suspect early Friday evening but were expected to survive, law enforcement officials said.

The suspect was also shot at a residence on Ashley Drive in east Falmouth, where the two officers responded at 5:35 p.m. to a report of a disturbance, Falmouth police said in a statement.

The incident is at least the third police shooting in Massachusetts since April, according to multiple police officials, and the second on Cape Cod.

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The two officers shot Friday were taken to Falmouth Hospital, authorities said. One of the officers, who was grazed by a bullet on the back of his head, was released from the hospital, Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said at about 8 p.m. The other officer, who was shot in the chest, remained in the hospital, but was conscious and speaking with his family, officials said.

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A bulletproof vest may have saved one of the officers’ lives, a law enforcement official said.

The DA identified the suspect as Malik Antonio Koval, 21. He was in custody at a Boston hospital Friday night, spokeswoman Tara Miltimore said.

Falmouth Police Chief Edward A. Dunne said the incident started when police responded to a report of someone breaking glass in a road.

O’Keefe said the suspect became increasingly agitated during his interaction with police.

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At one point, Koval retrieved a gun from his home and shot the two officers, Dunne said at a press conference late Friday night.

“The police officers, after they were fired upon, returned fire and the individual was hit a number of times,” O’Keefe told reporters at the scene.

One of the officers has been on the Falmouth force for a little more than five years. The other has been with the department under five years and is married with three children, according to the chief.

O’Keefe said Koval will face multiple counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, in addition to other criminal charges.

As of 9:45 p.m., Koval was alive after suffering multiple gunshot wounds, a law enforcement official said. He was being guarded in the hospital by state troopers, the police statement said.

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State troopers assigned to the Cape & Islands district attorney’s office are leading the investigation into the shootings, the latest violent attack on police in Massachusetts.

Scene in Falmouth where two police officers were shot Friday July 27. Courtesy : Boston 25 News
From Boston 25 News
The scene in Falmouth where two police officers were shot.

In April, Yarmouth police Sergeant Sean Gannon, 32, was fatally shot when he was serving a warrant at a residence in Marstons Mills, a village of Barnstable. Less than two weeks ago, Weymouth police Sergeant Michael Chesna, 42, was shot to death by a suspect while responding to a report of an erratic driver.

In each of those cases, a suspect was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Thomas Latanowich, 30, pleaded not guilty to charges he fatally shot Gannon. He was ordered held without bail.

In Weymouth, Emanuel Lopes, 20, was charged with shooting and killing both Chesna and Vera Adams, 77, a local resident, in her home on July 15. He was also ordered held without bail.

Dunne addressed the recent police shootings in brief remarks Friday night.

“You know, this is happening way too much,” he said. “We’ve got to return back to a time when police officers are respected.”

“I’m thankful tonight that somebody was looking after my officers and it didn’t end up like Yarmouth and Weymouth,” he said.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a nonprofit organization that keeps records of all fallen law enforcement officers in the United States, 90 officers have died in the line of duty across the country this year.

Gunfire is listed as the most common cause of death in the line of duty this year, with 35 officers dying by gunfire and one by accidental gunfire.

Gunfire was also the most common cause of line-of-duty death in 2017, with 46 officers dying from gunfire. None was from Massachusetts, according to the organization.

Norwood police Chief William G. Brooks III, the former president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, said the shootings of police officers are both unsettling and unpredictable.

And more than anything, he said, they’re evidence that this violence can happen anywhere.

“The public should just understand that this doesn’t just happen in big cities. It doesn’t just happen on highways,” Brooks said in a phone interview Friday night. “These are small towns. . . . These are the calls that officers handle every day.”

At Falmouth Hospital Friday night, at least a half-dozen police cars were parked outside, and a handful of uniformed officers milled around outside one entrance.

Meanwhile, police maintained a heavy presence in the neighborhood where the shootings occurred.

Crime scene tape crisscrossed through the pine trees on either side of Seacoast Shores Boulevard, a street off Route 28 where small stone walls on either side mark the entrance to the neighborhood known as Seacoast Shores.

Neighbors said it is a quiet area of mostly year-round homes.

Residents and police walked about in the twilight under the pines as officers continued their investigative work at one residence.

Behind the police tape, a white PODS storage container could be seen near the edge of one property.

Some neighbors said at 8:30 p.m. that they were still awaiting clearance from police to return to their homes.

Mike Bello and Felicia Gans of the Globe staff and Correspondent Alejandro Serrano contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald
@globe.com
. Follow him on Twitter @danny__mcdonald