SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Relatives of a police officer slain while responding to a domestic violence call said Tuesday that they'll remember him as a caring person who made everyone laugh.
Springfield Officer Kevin Ambrose responded to a 911 call Monday from the estranged girlfriend of off-duty New York City corrections officer Shawn Bryan. Police say Bryan fatally shot him, critically wounded the woman and committed suicide.
Since Ambrose's death, relatives, friends and colleagues have gathered at the family's home in western Massachusetts to offer support to the officer's widow and two children. Ambrose served as a Springfield police officer for 36 years, and his brother also is a member of the department.
Sister-in-law Missy Cyr said Tuesday that the healing process will take a while. But she said the family is relieved that relatives won't have to sit through a trial for the man who killed their loved one.
Authorities have said Bryan's estranged girlfriend, Charlene Mitchell, had just gotten a restraining order against him before the deadly encounter began Monday afternoon.
She wrote in a court affidavit that Bryan, the father of her 1-year-old child, always had told her he was "crazy."
The 29-year-old Mitchell said Bryan told her that he was going to make her wish she hadn't been born and that he was a man who made people get on their knees.
Mitchell was hospitalized in stable condition on Tuesday, police said. Blood stains were still visible Tuesday on the carpet and stairs of the building where the violence broke out.
New York City corrections officials said Bryan last worked at Rikers Island jail on Saturday and was due back for another shift Tuesday.
Mitchell's cousin said Tuesday that the family is distraught over the shootings.
"I'm just so devastated over what happened to my cousin," Latrelle Mitchell said from her Springfield home.
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 residence in a high-rise 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.