A man who opened fire on two police officers on a Dorchester street early this afternoon, injuring one, was shot and killed by the officers, police said.
Just after 1 p.m., two officers approached two men near the intersection of Geneva Avenue and Westville Street, interim Police Commissioner William Evans said. The pair was “known to police,” he said.
An argument quickly escalated, and one of the men shoved an officer before running away, Evans said. When police ordered them to stop, one of the men allegedly pulled out a gun and started shooting at the officers. The officers chased one or both of them around a street corner, Evans said, and a bullet hit one of the officers in the arm.
Police returned fire, shooting and killing the man. The other man was arrested.
“Nobody likes to discharge their firearm, but when we have a situation with deadly force, and they’re trying to kill us, we have no other choice, unfortunately,” Evans said at a press conference near the scene. “That’s what we’re trained for.”
Evans said the wounded officer was taken to a hospital, “but thank God, he’s gonna be fine.” The other officer was taken to the hospital to treat stress.
Dozens of police vehicles and several ambulances remained at the scene throughout the afternoon. Geneva Avenue and several intersecting streets were blocked while police investigated the shootout. A body covered with a white sheet, presumably that of the suspect who had been shot, could be seen on the sidewalk of Westville Street for several hours.
Police have not yet released the name of either suspect, and declined to identify the wounded officer pending notification of his family.
“It’s troubling for us,” Evans said. “This neighborhood has come a long way. It’s troubling, in the daylight, to have something like this happen.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who was on a trolley tour of Christmas tree lightings from Jamaica Plain to Mission Hill, expressed relief that the injured officer would survive.
“I spoke with the commissioner earlier this afternoon and I was glad to hear the officer’s injuries aren’t life threatening,” Menino told a Globe reporter on the trolley. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer and we’re hoping he makes a quick recovery.”
Numerous neighborhood residents interviewed by the Globe declined to give their names, citing fear of reprisals for speaking out. But they all said shootings in the Geneva area are common, and several expressed frustration with what they called police inaction.
“This is every day for us. It’s horrible, and it’s always on Geneva Ave. I’m totally fed up,” said a woman standing near the crime scene, who lived nearby with her 8-year-old daughter. “I guess you get used to it after a while, you learn how to live with it. You go in your house, mind your business, that’s it. Everybody keeps to themselves. You can’t control the street though.”
Other residents also described an atmosphere of silence and intimidation, with some calling for increased police presence in the area.
MBTA bus routes 15 and 17 were diverted from Geneva Avenue as police investigated the shooting. Dan Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter at @DanielAdams86. Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at email@example.com. Wesley Lowery of Globe Staff contributed to this report.