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Officer Mark Gibbons, City of Woburn Police Department, Massachusetts

Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery

On September 6, 2011, as a result of numerous 911 calls, the Woburn Police Department (WPD) was dispatched to a jewelry store for a take-over style robbery. Officer Robert DeNapoli was the first WPD officer on scene and located two suspects to the rear of the store. As he exited his cruiser, one suspect immediately fled while the second fired at and seriously wounded Officer DeNapoli. He was able to take cover behind his cruiser, but during the initial assault, Officer DeNapoli's firearm was shot out of his hand.

The suspect continued to engage the now disarmed Officer DeNapoli as additional officers arrived to assist. At this point, the suspect fled the scene. Officer Mark Gibbons responded to the area of the suspect's last known location.  He was able to locate the suspect and began to drive at him as the suspect went into a nearby yard. The suspect then began firing on Officer Gibbons, putting three rounds into the driver's side of this cruiser.

The suspect was approaching and Officer Gibbons realized that he was in "a life or death situation." Taking into account his limited options and the disadvantages of dismounting, taking cover, and returning fire, Officer Gibbons raised his firearm, slid down in his seat for added cover and concealment, got a good sight picture, and then fired five rounds at the suspect through the windshield of his own cruiser.

Officer Gibbons was able to strike the suspect multiple times and then disengage temporarily. He exited his cruiser and took up a tactical position. More gunfire was exchanged and Officer Gibbons was able to strike the suspect two times, but it seemed as if the rounds had no effect. The suspect then lowered his gun and started to turn to his right.

Officer Gibbons felt that if he didn't immediately neutralize the threat, the suspect would kill anyone else who tried to stop him and the citizens and other officers in the area were in imminent danger. He fired two more rounds, which brought the suspect down. Officer Gibbons then updated his situation via radio. He continued to cover the now seriously wounded suspect, issuing verbal commands, and ultimately taking him into custody.

Press Release

A group of people standing together. The man in the middle is holding a Badge of Bravery award.
In photo: Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo; Janice Gibbons, wife of Officer Gibbons; Officer Mark Gibbons; Senator Elizabeth Warren; and U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz