Boston man charged with firing 11 shots at cops during looting

A Boston man accused of opening fire on police during widespread looting and vandalism in that city is now facing federal charges, prosecutors said.

John Boampong, 37, was charged Thursday with assaulting a federal officer, interfering with a law enforcement officer during the commission of a civil disorder and being a prohibited person under felony indictment in possession of a firearm and ammunition in the June 1 chaos, US Attorney Andrew Lelling announced.

Boampong, who was charged on June 3 in Suffolk County with 21 counts of armed assault with intent to murder, was legally barred from having a gun but “indiscriminately” fired 11 shots at a crowd of officers and civilians during the incident, Lelling said.

The charges are “good reminder” that protests — even disruptive ones — are legal. Destroying property and endangering lives is not,” the federal prosecutor said. “We will enforce that rule.”

Court documents allege that Boampong was driving in Boston near a store that had been looted following a protest that started late May 31 when he was told to leave the area.

Boampong and his passengers allegedly ignored the order before he put his car in reverse before driving off as cops told him to stop.

He later returned to the area of Arlington and Boylston streets and allegedly fired at least 11 times towards officers, including a deputized federal officer.

No one was wounded during the shooting, but some bullets shattered the windows of two nearby apartments, federal prosecutors said.

Police later stopped Boampong’s car and found a Sig Sauer P230 9mm firearm inside, as well as black holster beneath the driver’s seat, where he was sitting, Lelling’s office said.

“On May 31, 2020, while people were expressing their First Amendment rights, others unfortunately turned to violence directed toward out city, its residents and my officers,” Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said. “This sends a clear message that people committing violent crime in our city, against our residents, and my officers, will not be tolerated.”

Boampong had been barred from possessing a firearm due to pending state charges, federal prosecutors said.

In 2019, he was charged in Brockton District Court with assault and battery on a police officer for allegedly getting involved as police tried to break up a bar fight, the Boston Globe reports.

Boampong was previously ordered held without bail on the Suffolk County charges, to which he pleaded not guilty, although he admitted to cops he fired his gun in anger because an officer hit the windshield of his car, the Globe reports.

If convicted of assaulting federal officers, Boampong faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Boston man also faces up to five years in prison on each of the two other federal charges he faces if found guilty, Lelling said.


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