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BOSTON -- A 24-year-old female Boston police officer with family members on the force died last night from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at her home in South Boston, police said.
``This is a tragedy. We have a very young female officer who took her life. There is no story here. We don't know why. The family is devastated. I'm devastated. I personally know this girl,'' an unnerved BPD Superintendent in Chief Robert Dunford told reporters and bystanders at the scene. ``I have no explanation.''
Dunford refused to name the officer, but multiple law enforcement sources identified her as Kaitlyn Elizabeth Keaney, a member of the department's 2006 graduating class. Keaney is a member of an extended family of Boston police officers, and her father in a cop in South Boston, the sources said.
Swarms of policemen descended on 431 East 6th Street, a quiet part of South Boston that was thrust into a maelstrom of police lights, squad cars, anguished cops and stunned neighbors. By midnight much of 6th Street was cordoned off.
A solemn-looking Boston police Commissioner Edward Davis also went to the scene. He declined to comment but circulated among officers and neighbors offering quiet condolences. Davis spent much of his time soothing many young women who stood nearby in tears.
A cluster of people who appeared to be family, friends and neighbors of the dead officer exchanged embraces and broke down in tears at the scene.
``Don't tell me this. This ain't real,'' moaned a woman who had just rushed to the scene and ducked under the police tape that was cordoning off the two-family home where the death occurred.
One onlooker, Charles Atherton, said he was unsure of the details but knew something horrible had happened. ``I saw the lights while at my computer so I came from my house on G Street to see what was going on,'' said the 49-year-old. ``I saw them bring the stretcher out, but then they just put it back.''