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A police officer who was attempting to execute a search warrant at a New Bedford apartment was shot on the side of his chest and when someone opened fire on officers from inside the barricaded home, authorities said Saturday.
Mayor Jonathan Mitchell said the officer's injuries were not life-threatening and he was being released from the hospital Saturday. The policeman was first taken for treatment at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford before being transferred to Rhode Island Hospital.
"He is in good spirits and he is awfully lucky. An inch or so away might have resulted in a far more serious injury," Mitchell said after visiting the officer in hospital. "We are grateful that he is on the mend."
New Bedford police said members of its Organized Crime and Intelligence Bureau were executing a search warrant at a Davis Street apartment late Friday. The officers were trying to storm through a door barricaded with a security bar when someone opened fire several times from inside the home, hitting one officer.
"The officers retreated and took positions of cover while calling for back up," police said in a statement. "After a short stand off the people inside the apartment stated that they would open the door and remove the security bar."
The mayor said the officers performed exceptionally well when they overcame instincts to return fire blindly through the open door.
Police took five people into custody, including three Boston residents and a man from Trussville, Ala.
Two suspects were eventually arrested and charged. Apartment resident Nathan Manuel-Jackson, 20, was charged with armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a deadly weapon and other firearm violations. He had recently moved to the home from Boston. The second suspect, Thomas Scott, 34, of Boston's Mattapan neighborhood, faces charges of being an accessory after the fact and several firearm violations. It was not immediately clear if the two men have attorneys.
Three people were served with grand jury subpoenas and might be charged in the future, police said.
Police were raiding the home as part of an investigation in illegal drug dealing in New Bedford, Mitchell said. The former federal prosecutor said sales are fueled by people who move into the city to take advantage of its affordable housing and whose criminal background is not checked by landlords living outside the city.