BOSTON

Man Shot by Police Had Served Prison Time for Firing at Officers

The man shot by police in an officer-involved shooting in Hyde Park on Thursday night had previously spent time in prison for shooting at Boston police officers.

John Mentor, 32, was shot in the leg by a Boston police officer after he allegedly shot at two people during an encounter around 7:30 p.m. Thursday and then pointed his loaded .357 Smith & Wesson revolver at two Boston police officers who had ordered him to drop his weapon, according to the Suffolk District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors said at least one of the officers then discharged his firearm, hitting Mentor in the leg. He was taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital and discharged on Friday.

"The conduct alleged here put five lives at risk, including the defendant's own," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said. "But for the officers' rapid response, this could have been a double homicide, and we're extremely fortunate that neither they nor the intended victims were injured."

The district attorney's office said Mentor was previously convicted of firing at, but not hitting, two Boston police officers during a 2009 encounter. He was sentenced to nine years in state prison followed by 10 years of probation. He was already on probation for a 2006 stabbing. 

Police said Thursday's incident unfolded when officers on patrol saw a man later identified as Mentor open fire on a group of people in the area of 120 Westminster St. He was apparently involved in an ongoing feud with two men he fired upon.

Neighbors said at first, they thought the gunfire was the sound of fireworks. They believed they heard multiple pops.

"It's a bad thing, obviously," said Rosa Palombi. "You hate to see this happen in any neighborhood, but it's particularly sad because this is a quiet area."

Mentor was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Friday afternoon in West Roxbury District Court on four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and a variety of firearms offenses. A dangerousness hearing is scheduled for June 7.

He is being represented by attorney Paul Marino.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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