By John Lynds
Many are still hailing Officers Richard Cintolo and Matt Morris’s survival and speedy recovery from a fierce gun battle two weeks ago as a miracle.
Both Cintolo and Morris were critically wounded during the shootout on Gladstone Street Cintolo received gunshots to the neck, shoulder and chest while Morris received a near fatal wound to his leg.
Cintolo was released from the hospital last Wednesday while Morris was released three days later on Saturday and was transported to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for “continued treatment and care” according to the Boston Police. Morris received several surgeries to reconstruct his leg from the wound that caused him to lose 75 percent of his blood at the scene.
Cintolo and Morris responded to a domestic call of a fight between two roommates at 136 Gladstone St. When the officers arrived they were told by one of the roommate’s that the suspect, later identified as Kirk Figueroa, was threatening him with a knife. According to reports, Figueroa and the other roommate had argued over a thermostat.
According to sources Cintolo and Morris were met by Figueroa who was wearing body armor and appeared to be dressed as a law enforcement official. Officers performed a ‘pat frisk’ of Figueroa as the suspect kept telling officers he was ‘one of them’. When Cintolo found he was armed Figueroa pushed Cintolo, shot him three times in the neck, chest and arm and then shot Morris in the groin–severing his femoral artery.
Arriving on the scene a few minute later Officer Cliff Singletary reached into Morris’s wound and used his fingers to pinch his artery as District A-7 Sergeant Norberto Perez applied the tourniquet that ultimately saved Morris’s life. Just a few days before the shooting, Perez received training on how to apply a tourniquet.
Commissioner William Evans credits Perez’s quick action in saving Morris’s life that night.
However, the stars aligning perfectly that cool autumn night has others wondering if something more was at play.
“You keep hearing these stories of how everything just fell into place that night,” said City Councilor Sal LaMattina. “From the backup that arrived to Officer Perez just receiving training on tourniquets to the doctor that was on staff at Mass General the night of the shooting–someone was watching over these two guys.”
After the shooting yet another story emerged and another hero in the form of a doctor at Mass General Hospital that makes the entire events October 12 a little more mystical.
Dr. David King is no stranger to being called a hero and was credited with saving several lives during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. In 2013 he had just finished the Marathon when the bombs went off and he sprung into action to help victims from bleeding to death on Boylston Street.
Dr. King, one of the country’s leading trauma surgeons and a former Lieutenant Colonel and combat surgeon in the US Army when he served in Afghanistan and Iraq, happened to be at Mass General that night when Cintolo and Morris arrived. He quickly went to work on Morris to save not only his life but also his leg.
Later it was revealed that Dr. King runs a special program that shows how battlefield treatment techniques can save lives for teachers, school nurses, and, more recently, a group of Boston police officers. It was the same program Officer Perez got his training and the importance of how a tourniquet can save a life.
Perez could never have imagined that he would use Dr. King’s training only a few days later to save a fellow officer’s life. Nor could he have imagined Dr. King would be in the emergency room waiting for Morris when he got there after police radioed ahead.
It seemed that a lot of things came full circle two weeks ago on Gladstone Street.