• Community donates blood in honor of officers shot in East Boston

    By: Elisha Machado

    Updated:

    DORCHESTER, Mass. - Boston Police officers and community members gave blood Thursday in honor of two East Boston officers shot in the line of duty. 

    “I thank God every day for the past week that we're not burying two officers. There was a vicious, violent attack on them,” Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association President Patrick Rose said. “Matty's still in the ICU. Him and his wife Caitlin are very strong and courageous people, but they still need people's support and prayers.”

    The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association put on the blood drive with the American Red Cross in honor of officers Richard Cintolo and Matthew Morris who were shot last Wednesday. If it was for blood transfusions, they likely would have not survived. Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association President Patrick Rose took action to help his fellow police officers as soon as he could by hosting the drive.

    Hundreds of people came out to support both officers by donating blood that could help save lives, just as it did for Cintolo and Morris.

    “There was severe blood loss at the scene and if it wasn't for the Red Cross, we would have lost two brothers the other night,” Rose said.

    Officer Cintolo was released from Massachusetts General Hospital Wednesday and Officer Morris is in stable condition, still recovering in the hospital.

    Both officers have served on the force for more than a decade—Officer Morris with 12 years and Officer Cintolo with 27 years.  For other officers, that makes this personal.

    “It is something that's very close to my heart,” Sgt. Detective Gary Eblan said. “It is something that means a lot to me and I take very serious.”

    Officer Morris' wife, Caitlin Morris, even came out to donate blood in her husband's name.

    “We're very lucky that Ritchie Cintolo is going home with his wife Sharon and that he's starting his next phase of recuperation at home,” Rose said. “We're still praying that Matty gets out soon. Matty’s got a long road to recovery as does Ritchie but Matty has a long road to recovery.”

    Fellow officers gave support to Cintolo and Morris through whole blood and double red blood cell donations, both instrumental in the transfusions that saved their lives.

    “Ninety percent is trauma and that's what they use it for, so these guys, these poor guys, probably used a lot of blood, unfortunately,” said Janet Webber, team supervisor of the American Red Cross.

    Double red blood cells help the clotting mechanism in the body to start working again after serious injuries such as gunshot wounds.

    “This is a pretty tumultuous time in the profession,” Eblan said. “There's police officers we see across the country in Baton Rouge, Dallas, here in Boston. Police officers are getting shot on a regular basis and it's a sad statement, but we're here to support our brothers.”

    Eblan urges the community to donate blood for those in need and help save lives. He says all it takes is a little bit of time.

    Rose hopes BPPA’s drive will bring awareness that blood saves lives.

    “We're coming into the holidays shortly and you know don't let something like this wait for a tragedy to give blood,” Rose said. “If people could step up and do it you know a couple, three, four times a year that'd be great.”

    The American Red Cross received over 200 units of blood from officers and community members at the drive.

    “As far as the outpouring of support of the general public towards our officers, I'm extremely grateful,” Rose said. “I think that it kind of gives just a snapshot of what police officers live with day in and day out.”

    If you are interesting in donating, click here for a list of upcoming blood drives in Massachusetts.

    Next Up: