BOSTON, Feb. 15, 2013—Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley today announced that his review of the 2011 police-involved shooting of a domestic violence suspect is complete, and that criminal charges are not warranted.
Those findings end the investigation into the June 14, 2011, incident on Wentworth Terrace that ultimately claimed the life of TYRONE CUMMINGS (D.O.B. 8/27/85), who assaulted and threatened to kill a 29-year-old woman pregnant with his unborn child, then opened fire on Boston Police responding to a subsequent 911 call.
“A thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Mr. Cummings has revealed that Officers [Shawn] Marando and [Timothy] Denio fired justifiably in self-defense and in defense of [two women and an 8-year-old child present at the scene],” Conley wrote in a letter to Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis. “The officers fired only after Mr. Cummings fired at them. Mr. Cummings continued to fire at the officers even after he had been shot. Under the circumstances, Officers Marando and Denio acted reasonably, lawfully and indeed heroically.”
Conley’s decision was based on a review of more than 1,000 pages of investigative and field reports, medical records, interviews, 911 call and dispatch transcripts, photographs, and other materials assembled by the Boston Police Department’s Firearms Discharge Investigation Team. The FDIT is comprised of senior detectives experienced in homicide and other major investigations.
That evidence shows that Cummings assaulted his 29-year-old female partner on the morning of June 14 in the course of a verbal altercation that became physical when he took her phone and threw it against a wall. The woman called her sister and asked her sister to come pick her up. At about this time, Cummings threatened to kill her if she called police.
The victim’s sister arrived a short time later and the victim and her young child entered her van. Outside, Cummings and the sister became involved in their own conversation that also escalated. At 6:42 a.m., the victim called 911.
Officers Marando and Denio and a third officer responded to the call, which was broadcast as a domestic violence incident in progress. While they were en route, they received updated information that the suspect had threatened to kill the victim.
When they arrived at the scene, the victim was in the van with her child, while Cummings and the victim’s sister were on the sidewalk. When one officer notified Cummings that he had to perform a pat-frisk for weapons and began to touch Cummings’ waist, Cummings pulled a firearm from his waistband.
The firearm was a 9mm Ruger semiautomatic handgun, which Cummings pointed at the officer. Marando and Denio drew their service weapons and Cummings fired a shot at Marando. Marando returned fire, as did Denio. Cummings continued to fire as he fell. When Cummings stopped firing, Demio took his firearm from him and called in the incident.
Marando and the victim’s sister both suffered gunshot wounds to their lower left legs. They were transported to separate hospitals for evaluation and treatment.
“Although no bullet or fragment was recovered from either [the injured woman] or Officer Marando, 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 injured woman] and the bullet that struck Officer Marando,” Conley wrote.
Shell casings recovered from the scene indicate that Cummings fired a total of four shots from his 9mm Ruger that morning. He sustained six gunshot wounds, all fired by Marando’s and Denio’s .40 caliber service weapons. At Boston Medical Center, clinicians recovered a second weapon, a .32 caliber Derringer, from his person. Cummings remained hospitalized until July 18, when he succumbed to his injuries.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.