World & Nation

Transit cop shot in Boston bombing chase recovering, cracking jokes

Wounded officer
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Officer Richard Donohue Jr., 33, of Woburn, Mass., is recovering after getting shot while pursuing the Boston bombing suspects.
(Courtesy of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority)

Richard “Dic” Donohue Jr. came to the edge of death after a bullet to his right thigh severed his femoral vein and artery.

The 33-year-old Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer from Woburn, Mass., lost his entire blood supply after he was hurt during the pursuit of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in an early morning manhunt on April 19.

At one point, his heart stopped.

But Donohue was resuscitated, and according to a statement Wednesday, he’s taking recovery in stride.


“I am told that when I arrived at the hospital I had almost no blood and no pulse, and the team of medical experts at Mount Auburn miraculously brought me back to life,” Donohue said in the statement, which was posted on the transit agency’s blog. “I am now awake, moving around, talking, and telling jokes (much to my Wife’s dismay).”

Donohue thanked emergency responders and the community for the outpouring of support they had showed him and his wife. He said he could now walk briefly with a walker. Although he is struggling with some pain, he expressed confidence he’d get “back to 100%.”

“The bullet will remain in my leg as it is not obstructing anything or causing any pain,” Donohue said. “However my wife has informed me that the bullet will ultimately cause her the most pain, as I will be using it to get out of things such as mowing the lawn, doing laundry, and painting the deck.”

The morning gun battle in which Donohue was wounded followed the previous night’s shooting of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier in Cambridge. Collier’s death prompted a massive manhunt that ended in nearby Watertown, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died during a confrontation with police.


His brother and fellow suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was later found hiding in a homeowner’s boat, having suffered multiple injuries.

“Sean [Collier] was one of my good friends out of the Academy and I arrived on scene soon after Sean’s attack,” Donohue said. “There is not a single day we are not thinking or speaking of Sean. And we are certain Sean was watching over me and assisted in saving my life. He could not save himself that night, but Sean could save me.”

Donohue added that he couldn’t remember much of that night, in which officials said the brothers also carjacked a driver and his SUV and also threw explosives at police.

“When the full story of that evening is accounted for, it will be wilder than any movie you have ever seen,” Donohue said. “And it will contain more heroes.”


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