Thursday, 10:24 AM
Police commissioner extends sympathies to family, friends of police shooting victim
(Boston Police photo)
Police released this image today of the pellet gun that they say Marquis Barker was brandishing.
By Globe Staff
Boston's police commissioner is expressing sympathy for the family and friends of Marquis Barker, the 38-year-old Suffolk County jail officer who was shot and killed by police on Wednesday night.
Commissioner Ed Davis also extended his sympathies to Barker's colleagues in the sheriff's department. At the same time, he said he wanted to "communicate his concern and support" for the officers involved in the shooting.
"My thoughts are also with the neighbors and community members impacted by this traumatizing series of events that occurred on Thanksgiving eve. This is clearly a tragedy for all involved," he said in a statement released today.
Barker's widow, Kim Sanders Barker, told reporters yesterday that she wants to know why police "let it go to the extent that they did."
"I need answers," she said. "Eighteen years in law enforcement, and this is what he gets? Shot in the head?"
It was the fifth fatal shooting by Boston police officers since 2002.
Sanders Barker said her husband was behaving strangely when she arrived home Wednesday afternoon. Police say that, when they arrived, they encountered a "hysterical male with a firearm." Barker then stole a cruiser and drove off.
A short distance away, Barker crashed the car into a fence in a Walgreens parking lot. Police said he gestured and pointed his weapon in "a threatening and menacing manner" and, fearing for their own safety and that of bystanders, officers fired their guns.
It turned out that Barker's weapon was only a pellet gun that was a "replica of a semiautomatic handgun," police said.
In conjunction with the district attorney's office, police are "conducting a very thorough and detailed investigation of this incident. There will be a full departmental analysis to ensure that officers followed protocol," Davis said.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said, "While it is too early to characterize Wednesday evening's incident in legal terms, every resident of Boston should know that my office has already begun a thorough and meticulous inquiry into the facts and circumstances surrounding Mr. Barker’s death."
"We will apply the law to those facts and circumstances as expeditiously as possible, and we will share our conclusions with the public – as we have in the past – when our investigation is complete," he said.
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