BRAINTREE, MASS. (WHDH) - Two police officers are hospitalized and a wanted man is dead after an “ambush” in the woods behind an apartment complex in Braintree on Friday afternoon led to a wild shootout that claimed the life of a K9, officials said.

The officers were shot after responding to a reported domestic incident inside an apartment complex on McCusker Drive just before 1 p.m. when they learned the suspect had fled into a nearby wooded area, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey.

Police then set up a perimeter around the woods in an effort to capture the suspect, who Morrissey said was well-known to police with multiple warrants out for his arrest.

Three police officers, including a K9 handler, encountered heavy gunfire from the suspect as they entered the woods, Morrissey said.

“As three officers and the dog got into the wooded area, approximately 75 yards, they came under fire from an individual in a defensive position, some would say lying in wait in an ambush for the officers.”


The K9, a 12-year veteran of the Braintree Police Department named Kitt, was killed in the initial wave of gunfire. Two of the officers suffered multiple wounds as they returned fire in the direction of the suspect.

“The dog had a ton of experience with its handler. They were an awesome pair,” Morrissey said.

Both officers were taken to area hospitals. They are undergoing surgery and are expected to survive.

“They are in surgery. We think they are in good shape,” Morrissey said. “We are hoping for the best. Say a little prayer.”

The suspect, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at Milton Hospital. His name has not been released.

Video from SKY7 HD showed a heavy police presence, a number of ambulances, and investigators roping off the large wooded area.

A woman who lives near the scene of the shooting told 7NEWS that she heard multiple gunshots.

“I heard what I thought was fireworks…But then I heard bop, bop, bop, bop, bop,” the woman said. “I knew it was gunshots at that point…There were five to 10 shots at the very least.”

Another neighborhood resident said that he heard more than a dozen shots ring out before law enforcement officials swarmed the area.

“I could hear them yelling at the suspect, ‘Get down. Get down,'” the man said. “He’s yelling back, ‘What did I do?’ But that was after the gunshots.”

Crime scene specialists are continuing to comb the wooded area for evidence.

The incident remains under investigation.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox