About 6:25 am, on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, officers from District B-2 (Roxbury) responded to a radio call for a person with a gun at 4 Burton Avenue in Roxbury. The 911 call was made from a cell phone and transferred to the Boston Police from the Massachusetts State Police.
The called reported a person with a gun and also a dead body inside that location. After the first call, a second call was made in which the same caller stated that the suspect with the gun was still at the location and might be found hiding underneath the house. On arrival, given the high level of danger and the clear threat to officer safety, officers formed a perimeter around the home.
With the perimeter in place, officers approached the location and knocked on the front door. When the door was answered, officers informed the occupant of the location that, given the exigent circumstance associated with the call, the location needed to be searched to ensure the safety and well being of those inside the home. When the occupant stated that nothing was going on inside the home, officers informed the occupant that his word or assurances alone did not provide sufficient grounds for officers to ignore the call and leave the location without searching it. Officers further explained that the extreme circumstances mandated that they enter, search and secure the home. Once inside the location, officers were able to clear the home. The search of the location produced neither a body nor a suspect with a gun.
The occupant of this apartment expressed concerns to the Boston Police relative to treatment during the encounter. The occupant’s concerns have prompted an internal review of the matter to ensure that all officers followed Boston Police protocols and procedures. That investigation is ongoing.
Officers also conducted an immediate investigation in the validity and origin of the 911 call. As a result of this investigation, officers were able to trace the original calls and identify the person responsible for making false claims of an emergency situation.
At about 8:45 am, on Thursday, February 17, 2011, officers from District B-2 located the suspect wanted in connection with placing false 911 calls prompting the above incident.
Officers arrested Sylvester McDuffie, 25, of Boston and charged him with Disturbing the Peace and Making False 911 Calls.