On June 4, 2021, Braintree police officers responded to a call for a domestic dispute involving a firearm in Braintree Village, located on McCusker Drive. Officers responding to the scene were updated that the subject had fled the apartment complex on foot and had entered into a thickly wooded area armed with multiple firearms. Several officers, including K9 Officer William Cushing and his K9 Kitt, Officer Matthew Donoghue and K9 Officer Richard Seibert, entered the area in search of the subject. As the officers approached the subject’s location, the officers were ambushed and gunfire was exchanged at close range. Officers Cushing and Donoghue sustained multiple gunshot wounds and Officer Seibert, a former combat medic of the United States Army, provided immediate medical attention before the officers were transported to area hospitals for further treatment. Each officer displayed remarkable bravery, calm and professionalism. Officer Seibert was instrumental not only in helping Officers Cushing and Donoghue mitigate the threat, but also in immediately rendering aid to the injured officers. Officer Seibert’s extensive training and experience certainly contributed to a more favorable outcome for the Braintree Police Department.
“Without hesitation, our first responders put their lives on the line to protect and serve our community,” said Mayor Charles C. Kokoros. “We should all be proud of our men and women in law enforcement and I want extend my sincerest thanks to the Braintree Police Department for their selfless acts of bravery and Brewster Ambulance for their professionalism in administering lifesaving care, not just on June 4th, but every day they put on the uniform and go to work.”
Officer Seibert is a 16-year veteran of the Braintree Police Department, currently assigned with Narcotics K9 Officer Lucky. During his career, Officer Seibert has served in the Firearms Unit as both a Firearms Instructor and Department Armorer. Officer Seibert is a veteran of the United States Army, where he served in the Military Police, as a member of the Special Response Team and as an EMT/Medical Specialist.
Officer Donoghue began his law enforcement career with the Duxbury Police Department in 2014 and transferred to the Braintree Police Department in January 2018. Officer Donoghue is a veteran of the Army National Guard and during his time with the Braintree Police Department has been the recipient of several letters of appreciation, the Life Saving Medal and the Police Award Certificate. Since being released from the hospital, Officer Donoghue has been home recovering with his family. Officer Cushing is a nearly 16-year veteran of the Braintree Police Department and has worked as K9 Officer Kitt’s handler since July 2010.
Officer Cushing has served the Department as a Field Training Officer and is assigned to the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (METRO-LEC) SWAT Team. Officer Cushing is a recipient of numerous commendations, including the Robert F. Dana Award. In 2018, Officer Cushing and five other officers were given the Trooper George Hanna Medal of Honor, the highest and most prestigious award given to a police officer who demonstrates actions above and beyond the call of duty. Officer Cushing was released from the hospital earlier today.
All officers involved wish to express their sincere thanks to their fellow officers and the community for their support during this time. “The outpouring of support from the community during this difficult time has been nothing short of incredible,” said Police Chief Mark Dubois. “We have been overwhelmed by the volume of calls, e-mails, cards, posters and generous contributions in support of the Department and our officers. Your sincere well wishes and generosity have had a positive impact department-wide and on behalf of the Department, I want to say thank you.”
K9 Officer Kitt was mortally wounded during the attempted apprehension of the subject. K9 Kitt, a Belgian Malinois, was born in August of 2009 in Slovakia and imported into the United States by Connecticut Canine Services. K9 Kitt and Officer Cushing attended the Canine Academy and were certified by a Master Canine Trainer upon completion. In addition to his service to the Town of Braintree, K9 Kitt was assigned to the METRO-LEC Swat Team, where he assisted numerous communities within the Commonwealth. K9 Kitt specialized in tracking, locating missing people, finding crime scene evidence and apprehension. In 2016, K9 Kitt was awarded the Braintree Police Medal of Valor for his protection of several officers during an armed confrontation. In July 2020 K9 Kitt and Officer Cushing located the person responsible for a shooting incident at the South Shore Plaza that resulted in serious injuries and a property lockdown.
On June 4, 2021, as the subject repeatedly fired his weapon in very close range at Officers Donoghue, Cushing and Seibert, K9 Kitt heroically advanced towards the subject causing him to turn his attention away from the officers. If not for the actions of K9 Kitt the circumstances that afternoon could have been dramatically different. K9 Kitt valiantly gave his life for the life of his beloved handler and his partners and died a true hero that afternoon.
Services to honor the life of K9 Kitt are being planned for the week of June 21st. Details to follow