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Boston Officer Who Helped Save Lives During Marathon Attacks Gunned Down

The 34-year-old officer was shot in the face at point-blank range Friday night. He was credited with helping save lives during the Boston Marathon attacks.

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The Boston Police Department on Saturday named the gunman allegedly responsible for critically injuring a police officer once lauded at the White House for helping the wounded in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks.

Officer John Moynihan, 34, was shot in the face just below the right eye on Friday night during a traffic stop in the city's Roxbury neighborhood and was "fighting for his life" in a medically induced coma, police Commissioner William Evans said.

Moynihan was one of six officers in a gang task force who had pulled over a car and were approaching when the suspect suddenly exited the vehicle and opened fire with a .357 Magnum. Video taken at the scene showed Moynihan nearing the driver's door when the suspect pulled a gun and opened fire at point-blank range, Evans said.

"You just clearly see the driver come out of that driver's side and his hand's going up as he comes out," The Boston Globe quoted Evans as saying. "Point-blank he shoots the officer right in the face."

The suspect then fired at the other officers as he attempted to run, emptying his gun of bullets. Police returned fire, killing the suspect at the scene. Witnesses told the Globe they heard close to 20 rounds fired.

A third person, a woman driving by, also suffered a gunshot wound to the arm and was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Three other officers were also hospitalized for stress.

The names of the injured were not released. Police said two additional suspects were also taken into custody on unrelated matters.

The Boston Police Department identified the gunman on Saturday as Angelo West, 41, of Hyde Park.

West had a violent past and was previously convicted on gun related charges, including a 2001 incident where he opened fire on police during a drug investigation. In that encounter, West wrestled to the ground in a struggle with officers when his gun fired.

He was later sentenced to seven to 10 years in state prison, plus probation. In August, he completed his probation.

Moynihan, a decorated military veteran, was honored last year by President Obama in a White House ceremony with the Top Cops award after coming to the aid of transit officer Richard H. Donohue Jr., who was injured during a shootout with Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April 2013.

Donohue was shot in the leg and nearly bled to death while authorities hunted the Tsarnaev brothers, the Associated Press reported.

The 34-year-old former Army ranger was also credited with aiding the wounded at the Boston Marathon finish line after the two bombs detonated, a law enforcement official told the Globe.

Moynihan is "the absolute best type of soldier and police officer," the official told the Globe. He is "selfless, courageous, and giving."

At a press conference Saturday, Evans said police were hopeful Moynihan would recover.

"All of my officers are praying for his safe recovery. We are all very lucky that he is still with us today," the commissioner said. "He's a fighter. I am sure he's going to pull through."

Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans: Officer Moynihan in induced coma- we're all praying for him. #wcvb

Jon Passantino is a deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jon Passantino at jonathan.passantino@buzzfeed.com.

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