By John Lynds
According to Gladstone Street residents, Kirk Figueroa, the man that seriously wounded two East Boston officers before being shot and killed during a fierce gun battle last Wednesday night on Gladstone Street, kept mostly to himself.
“He never really talked or interacted with anyone of the street,” said one Gladstone Street resident last Thursday as investigators combed over the crime scene in the distance . “He was always outside making sure his car was clean.”
The car, which was towed by investigators the morning after the shooting, looked like a police car with ‘Code Blue Protection Corp’ painted on the side–a company the New York native founded several years ago.
However, while Figueroa, 33, touted himself as an ex-military, bounty hunter, private eye, security expert, he seemed to be none of these–or at the very least a wannabe.
According to the biography on his company’s website, Figueroa writes he “was a member of the United States Army Reserve HHC 306 Military Police Battalion”. The Army said he lasted only five months, never completed basic training and was given a ‘hardship’ discharge.
He also said he gained some experience serving as an apprentice Licensed Private Investigator in the State of Florida. However, records show he was never able to secure a private eye license due to a criminal past that included several arrests.
Then there was a history of odd arrests and violent incidents that included arrests for trying to torch his own car and posing as a private detective without a license. There was the alleged abuse of his former wife who said in a divorce filing that he had given her ‘black eyes’.
He arrived in Eastie about a year ago with his mock police car bearing Florida license plates and the name of his company. The company’s website had a Florida address and Figueroa reportedly did business there as well as in San Francisco and Boston. He was sworn constable in the city according to Boston records and lived with two other roommates at 136 Gladstone St.
“It was a few months ago that I noticed he had changed the plates over to Massachusetts plates,” said the neighbor. “We have a lot of police officers and other law enforcement officials living on the street so we didn’t think anything of it.”
His roommates, who nearly became casualties during Figueroa’s violent confrontation with police last week, also described him as ‘secretive’ and someone who would disappear for weeks at a time. They may have just assumed his clandestine lifestyle and cache of weapons were all part of his ‘security’ job and had no clue of his troubled past.
However, with Figueroa’s troubled past, estrangement from family members and a life of lies and half-truths, the community may never really get the whole story of what drove Figueroa to go on a shooting rampage that nearly killed two police officers on a calm autumn night in Eastie.