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Special Agent Brian Patrick Higgins

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Massachusetts

On November 2, 2010, in connection with an ongoing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigation, an arrest warrant was obtained on a suspect for firearms violations.  While on surveillance, a vehicle known to be driven by the suspect was observed to be parked on the street in front of his mother's residence.  As the suspect departed the residence, Special Agent Brian Higgins and Task Force Officer Oliveira began their approach while Somerville Sergeant Detective McCain and Patrol Sergeant Reardon maintained cover.

Task Force Officer Oliveira approached the suspect while he was seated in his car and informed him of the arrest warrant, at which point the suspect opened fire striking Officer Oliveira five times and disabling him. Agent Higgins, Sergeant Detective McCain, and Sergeant Reardon left their positions of cover and without regard for their respective safety, immediately returned fire, eventually fatally wounding the suspect.

Agent Higgins left his position of cover to pull Officer Oliveira to the rear of the target’s vehicle. Once removed from the threat of cross fire, Agent Higgins retrieved a field medical kit and began applying pressure to Officer Oliveira’s wounds.  Eventually, Officer Oliveira was rushed to the hospital where he received life saving trauma care.  The emergency room surgeon credited Agents Higgins’ action with keeping Officer Oliveira alive long enough to be within the life saving care.

Note: A small, private ceremony was held for ATF Special Agent Brian Higgins on March 18, 2013. The ceremony was held in the Boston Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren, who presented SA Higgins with his badge. Also present was the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz and Acting Special Agent in Charge for the ATF Boston Field Division Eugenio Marquez.