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A local police officer responding to a domestic violence call was fatally shot Monday by a New York City correction officer who critically wounded his former girlfriend before taking his own life, authorities said.
Officer Kevin Ambrose went to the woman's Springfield apartment around 1 p.m. after she called 911 to say her former boyfriend, against whom she had just obtained a restraining order, was nearby and she feared for her life, Springfield police Commissioner William Fitchet said.
Ambrose arrived in a one-man patrol car and found 29-year-old Charlene Mitchell and 35-year-old Shawn Bryan, of Hempstead, N.Y., outside, Fitchet said. They went to Mitchell's apartment, where, Fitchet said, Bryan pushed Mitchell inside, followed her and slammed the door on Ambrose, who tried to get inside. Bryan shot Ambrose through the door, opened it and fired at him again, then shot Mitchell, Fitchet said.
Fitchet said Bryan, who worked at the Rikers Island correctional facility, apparently shot himself in the chest in his car outside Mitchell's apartment building. Officers arriving to back up Ambrose found all three.
Fitchet said Ambrose and Bryan were pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center and Mitchell was in critical condition there late Monday after undergoing surgery.
Mitchell had obtained the restraining order, to be served on Bryan, about 45 minutes before the shootings. The Springfield Republican newspaper reported that the court ordered Bryan to stay at least 100 yards from Mitchell and to have no contact with her or their 1-year-old child and to surrender his firearms to police. Police said the order allowed Bryan to pick up some of his belongings from Mitchell.
The New York City Department of Correction said it was "shocked and saddened" by what happened Monday and expressed its condolences to Ambrose's family.
"Each of us takes an oath of office to preserve and protect the lives of others," Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro said in a statement. "This is an unspeakable tragedy."
Ambrose, a 36-year veteran, is the first Springfield officer killed on duty in nearly 27 years. Fitchet said he is survived by his wife, two children and a grandchild.
Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni said Ambrose "served as a hero."
"His career choice made him a hero," he said. "His actions today made him a hero."
Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno ordered flags on municipal buildings lowered in memory of Ambrose, who he said "wore his badge with honor and integrity and served our city with a tremendous amount of pride and passion."
The last Springfield officers shot and killed on duty were patrolmen Alain Beauregard and Michael Schiavina, gunned down while making a traffic stop in 1985.
Springfield, with a population of about 153,000, is the largest city in western Massachusetts and the third largest in the state. It is about 90 miles west of Boston and about 25 miles north of Hartford, Conn.
It is known as the home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
This program aired on June 4, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.
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