SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – “He is a Demon,” Charlene Mitchell wrote in a court affidavit about the man who made her fear for her life.
Less than an hour after the court granted her a restraining order, Springfield police had another name for the father of Mitchell’s 1-year-old daughter: cop killer.
Authorities said Shawn Bryan, a 35-year-old New York City corrections officer, fatally shot the Springfield police officer who answered Mitchell’s call for help Monday afternoon.
Officer Kevin Ambrose met Mitchell and Bryan outside her apartment complex and briefly spoke to them before heading inside so Bryan could retrieve some belongings.
The 29-year-old woman told court officials in requesting the restraining order that Bryan had a gun, had gotten physical with her and had “always told me that he is crazy.”
Police said Bryan shoved Mitchell inside when they got to the apartment door Monday, leaving the 56-year-old Ambrose in the hallway.
Authorities said when the 36-year police force veteran tried to push his way inside, Bryan fired a gunshot at Ambrose through the door, then opened the door and shot him again.
The corrections officer then went back inside the apartment, shooting and critically wounding Mitchell before turning his gun on himself.
The killing came two days after a rage that court records show Bryan revealed Saturday in text messages.
“I’m gonna make you wish you were not born,” the corrections officer texted to Mitchell.
He was a man, he also texted her, who made people “get on their knees.”
That same day, Ambrose had hosted a party at his home to celebrate his 4-year-old granddaughter’s birthday, the girl a family member said Tuesday “was his world.”
Loved ones gathered at Ambrose’s home again Monday and Tuesday, this time to offer support to his widow, Carla, and their two adult children.
The slain officer’s sister-in-law Missy Cyr said Tuesday that they’ll remember Ambrose as a caring person who made everyone laugh.
“It’s just very raw,” Cyr said of the family’s loss. “So now all we can do is remember that man that we loved, that smile.”
Cyr said the family is relieved that they won’t have to sit through a trial for their loved one’s killer.
“At least that guy’s gone and Carla doesn’t have to go through court,” she said.
Ambrose’s father-in-law, Ronald Cyr, said his death also was difficult for police officers who came to pay respects at the family’s house.
“Some of the cops that were there, these were the guys that were really broken up,” he said.
A wake for Ambrose will be held Thursday, followed by a funeral Friday at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Springfield.
Police said Mitchell was hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday, when a cousin of Mitchell’s said her family was distraught about the shootings.
“I’m just so devastated over what happened to my cousin,” Latrelle Mitchell said from her Springfield home.
A day after the shootings, blood stains were visible on the carpet and stairs of the building where the violence broke out.
Desiree Romero, who was in her daughter’s apartment in the same building, said she heard six gunshots before someone knocked on the door Monday. Then a woman who identified herself as Mitchell’s aunt said someone had shot a police officer.
“Call the police! Call the police! My niece and her daughter are upstairs,” Romero said the woman told her.
Romero said she later saw police carrying Mitchell’s 1-year-old daughter down the stairs, the child’s face covered in blood.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Children and Families said Tuesday that the child is now with other family.
Mitchell, a licensed cosmetologist, also has a 13-year-old child, according to her restraining order application.
She wrote that she had problems with Bryan “from the day we started to date.” She said that since they broke up 11 months ago, she continued letting the corrections officer come to her apartment to see their daughter.
Mitchell said that trouble began last weekend after Bryan said he wanted to get his TV back. At first, Bryan told her Saturday by phone that he wanted their relationship “to be about the child and nothing else.”
But Mitchell said his threats started after she agreed but had nothing else to say to him.
Under the protection order, Bryan had to stay at least 100 yards away from Mitchell and not contact her. It also ordered Bryan to surrender his guns and ammunition to “any requesting police department” or to the police officer serving him with a restraining order copy. It wasn’t clear Tuesday if police had served Bryan with the restraining order before he killed Ambrose.
New York City corrections officials said Bryan joined the department in August 2009 and got an assignment at Rikers Island. He last worked at the jail Saturday and was due back for another shift Tuesday.
Corrections Commissioner Dora Schriro released a statement Monday calling Ambrose’s death “an unspeakable tragedy.”
A woman who answered the door of a home in Westbury, N.Y., on Tuesday afternoon said Bryan’s relatives had no comment. Security officials were blocking access to the lobby of a seven-story building in Hempstead, N.Y., where he lived.
Murphy and Associated Press writer Denise Lavoie reported from Boston. AP writers Frank Eltman in Hempstead, N.Y., and Tom Hays in New York contributed to this report.
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