Boston, MA – Boston Mayor-elect Michelle Wu lamented the death of the gunman accused of wounding three Boston police officers on Tuesday and called for more to be done to help people who have been released from prison so they don’t commit new offenses.
Wu, 36, said the criminal justice system failed 37-year-old Dashaun Wright, who was fatally shot by police during a standoff after he opened fire on officers, wounding three of them, WGBH reported.
Wright was a convicted felon who was sentenced to 14 to 16 years in prison in 2003 for charges of being an armed career criminal, possession of a firearm, and armed assault with intent to murder, according to WCVB.
He was released from prison in July, the Boston Patch reported.
Wright shot the three officers after they responded to a Dorchester apartment complex due to a report Wright had put a gun to his own brother’s head, WBZ reported.
“We have systems that have failed our young people time and time again, and we need to ensure that there are strong accountability measures when there are incidents of violence and harm, but there need to be strong pathways to ensure that our returning citizens are coming into community with the supports and stability,” Wu said during a press conference on Thursday, according to WGBH.
“Yes, the system has failed,” she reiterated.
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The mayor-elect said she is focused on defunding the city’s police force in order to reallocate money into community-based programs.
“We have a police overtime line item that has been growing and growing and growing and taking up resources that are badly needed in other parts of community needs,” Wu declared, according to WGBH. “And so, to get that line item under control, to make sure we’re using our resources in a way that matches what services are needed in the community will in fact require investing more in public safety and health.”
A second officer fatally shot the assailant, Boston Police Department (BPD) Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long told the news outlet.
The wounded officer was rushed to Boston Medical Center, where doctors determined he will recover.
The suspect who repeatedly stabbed the officer had previously choked a female officer to the point of unconsciousness when she responded to the same home for another domestic violence call back in 2018, the Boston Herald reported.
“Our officers are getting called into situations that often a different response might be more impactful,” Wu told WGBH. “Whether it is those who are experiencing homelessness or in crisis, with substance use or with mental health and trauma supports, we need to be investing in the right ways.”
The mayor-elect will take office next week, WCVB reported.