Suffolk district attorney rules Boston police justified in using deadly force in 2011 domestic violence incident

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F Conley on Friday formally cleared three Boston police officers who got into a deadly gunfight with a Dorchester man who opened fire on police as they tried to protect the man’s pregnant girlfriend, her eight-year-old daughter, and the woman’s sister.

The incident unfolded early on the morning of June 14, 2011, on Wentworth Terrace in Dorchester when Tyrone Cummings pointed a 9mm handgun at the head of Officer Charbel Kamel before opening fire on Officers Shawn Marando and Timothy Denio, according to Conley.

Marando and Denio returned fire, and even though it appeared Cummings was quickly shot in the stomach, the 25-year-old Cummings continued to fire at the officers as he ran away from them and also once as he fell to the ground, Conley said.

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“The officers fired only when Mr. Cummings drew his 9mm Ruger and started to fire at police officers and civilians,’’ Conley wrote in a letter sent to Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis. “Officers Shawn Marando and Timothy Denio acted reasonably, lawfully and indeed heroically in self-defense and defense of others... Criminal charges are not warranted.’’

According to Conley, at the time of the gunfire, Cummings’ girlfriend and her eight-year-old daughter were sitting in a van outside the Wentworth Terrace home. The girlfriend and her daughter were expecting to drive away with the girlfriend’s sister, who was outside the vehicle talking to Cummings when Cummings started shooting, Conley said.

When the gunfire ended, Marando discovered that he had been struck in the left leg by a bullet; the bullet passed through him, officials said. Marando, who at the time of the domestic violence call was a 13-year-veteran of the Boston police, recovered but has since retired.

The woman’s sister was shot in the lower left leg. She was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for treatment.

Conley wrote that the bullets that struck Marando and the woman’s sister passed through their legs so no evidence was left for ballistics testing. However, Conley wrote, given where the officers and the woman were standing when Cummings opened fire, there is no doubt who wounded Marando and the woman.

“The location of their injuries and the relative positions of the police officers and Mr. Cummings establish that Mr. Cummings fired the bullet that struck [the woman’s sister] and the bullet that struck Officer Marando,’’ Conley wrote.

After Cummings fell to the ground and stopped shooting, Denio approached him at gunpoint and seized his pistol, Conley wrote. Cummings was rushed to Boston Medical Center where doctors made a surprising discovery—Cummings was also armed with a .32-caliber derringer, Conley wrote.

Police also recovered 13 rounds of 9mm ammunition at the BMC.

Cummings remained hospitalized until July 18, 2011, when he died from his injuries.

According to Conley’s summary of the autopsy results, Cummings was shot six times, three times in the torso and also in the right thigh, the back, and buttocks.

Cummings fired four times, Conley said, while the officers fired a total of eight times. Marando fired six of those shots from his department-issued .40 caliber-Glock pistol and the rest came from Denio who used his department-issued Glock, Conley said.