(Events and details as told by Brockton Police)
It was a chaotic scene the night of August 8th outside of 124 Laureston Street. A backyard party abruptly ended when gunfire erupted. Hundreds of people were trying to flee. Emergency vehicles were unable to reach the injured, which included five people with gunshot wounds.
Patrol Officers Salissa (Sally) Lopes and Edmar Pereira were the first Brockton Cops to arrive on the scene. They withstood physical assaults while they rendered medical assistance to shooting victims they located, including one man whose head was grazed by a bullet.
While Lopes and Pereira were working on the man shot in the head, Patrons pulled Officer Shannon Morency to another victim on the ground by a house. Rashad “Rudy” Francois was hit three times. Once in the chest, once in the abdomen and once in the stomach. Patrol Officer Wilson Cabral grabbed a medical bag and created space by moving the crowd so Morency could begin life-saving measures.
“I just did what I trained to do,” said Officer Morency. “He was bleeding profusely, and we needed to stop the bleeding. I’m so happy he survived and glad I could help.”
Moments later, the supervisor in charge of the crime scene, Sergeant Robert DiLiddo, arrived to assist. Joining him were K-9 Officer Jonathan Correia. A detective, Firefighter Greg Hilliard, detective James Cronshaw, and others took over and began to tend to the victim with several onlookers hoping and praying for the victim to survive.
They carried Francois away from the crowded property and through the jam-packed street looking for an unoccupied ambulance. There wasn’t any.
Officer Lopes, who was able to help EMS stabilize her first patient, persuaded the victim to give up the ambulance for Francois, who was more critical.
“Thank you, Thanks for saving my son,” said an emotional Wilda Joseph, who is Rashad (Rudy) Francois’ mother.
“Tell Shannon that I love her, and I thank her so much for doing that. Thank Sally and Edmar for me too. I love all you guys. My son is a good boy.”
Ms. Joseph met Rashad and the ambulance at Boston Medical Center the night of the incident. She says doctors have performed three surgeries on him so far, and he’s doing okay.
When the mother from Danvers saw the story and the photos in the Enterprise News, she immediately called Brockton Police.
“I was looking at the pictures, and tears started coming out of my eyes. I saw the blood on your clothes. You guys put your lives on the line for my son; Some of you didn’t even have masks. All you cared about at that moment was saving my son’s life. I am forever grateful,” praised Ms. Joseph, who shared her story on social media and to whoever will listen.
We realize situations sometimes arise when mask-wearing may not be practical for law enforcement, especially in the heat of the moment. Police may jump out of a cruiser to deal with a life and death situation.
The five people shot at a party on Laureston Street, where several hundred people gathered is considered one of those circumstances. The officers who rushed in to save the victims’ lives and to prevent additional injury from gunfire by securing the crime scene were quickly tested to determine if they contracted the virus. They all tested negative.
Wilda Joseph made her thoughts known.
“When I saw the blood all over your clothing, I’m like look at those policemen and women. Look at them. And people pen them as bad guys. These are good cops.”
Rashad’s mother has a message for members of the Brockton Police and the public.
“I hope that everybody in this world can stop judging the police. The Brockton Police are such great people. They did such a good job. They’re caring, and I can see the reaction in their face. They didn’t hesitate; they just picked up my son. They did their job with all their heart.”
Rashad wanted to thank BPD, too, so he and his mom sent a photo of the two of them together in the Intensive Care Unit at Boston Medical Center.
Chief Manny Gomes is not surprised by the quality and work ethic that his officers possess. “Our men and women in the department risk their lives every day trying to save someone else’s loved one. It is what we do,” said Chief Gomes. “… but I can tell you that we are human, and it is nice to hear when the community appreciates our efforts. I enjoyed speaking to Wilda Joseph on the phone and today in person.”
The Chief plans to commend all police personnel for their heroic actions in the case.
Investigators say all the victims, including a stabbing victim, are recovering from their injuries.
The Brockton Police have charged the woman who rented the backyard of 124 Laureston Street with Keeping a Noisy & Disorderly House. The court will summons second-floor tenant Tynequa Farmer to answer the charges in court.
If convicted, she could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $200. The criminal investigation continues.