New Bedford man charged for allegedly shooting city police officer


Det. Lavar Gilbert suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting and has been released from a Boston hospital.

Police arrested a 20-year-old man Sunday afternoon for allegedly shooting an undercover city police officer in the face and another man in the foot.

New Bedford resident Cheybane Vasconcelos-Furtado allegedly shot Det. Lavar Gilbert on the evening of July 17. Police charged him with assault with intent to murder, among other charges, New Bedford police said in a press release.

Cheybane Vasconcelos-Furtado, 20, has been arrested and charged for the shooting of a New Bedford police officer and one other man on July 17. – State Police Association of Massachusetts

The shooting

The shooting happened around 8:45 p.m. near the intersection of River and Orchard Streets, according to New Bedford police. At the time, Gilbert, who police described as a “veteran” detective assigned to the Organized Crime Intelligence Bureau, was working undercover in an unmarked vehicle.

The bullet went through the vehicle’s window and shattered it, hitting Gilbert in the face, police said. Gilbert remained conscious and was able to drive himself to a hospital for treatment. His injuries were non-life-threatening.

Soon after, police said, another man checked into a local emergency room with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his foot. Police have not identified the second victim.

“The circumstances surrounding [the second victim’s] injury remain under investigation. However, we can confirm that neither Detective Gilbert, nor any of our officers, fired their weapons,” police wrote on July 18.

It is unclear what led to the shooting. The Bristol County District Attorney’s office said Sunday evening that no more information about the shooting would be released before Vasconcelos-Furtado’s arraignment.

The charges

State Police arrested Vasconcelos-Furtado Sunday when he tried to leave his home on Worcester Street through a back door around 3:30 p.m., according to the State Police union. He was charged with two counts of armed assault with intent to murder and two counts of assault and battery using a firearm.

New Bedford police said July 18 that they did not think Gilbert was “specifically targeted” in the shooting, or that there was ongoing danger to the neighborhood in which it happened. The DA’s office did not respond to a request for clarification Sunday evening.

Police also charged Vasconcelos-Furtado with two counts of wanton destruction of property over $1,200, and one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, carrying an illegal firearm, and carrying a loaded illegal firearm. 

“I am very pleased that an arrest has been made in another senseless act of violence that could have cost the detective his life,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said in a press release.

What’s next

Vasconcelos-Furtado is set to be arraigned in New Bedford District Court Monday morning. State and local police are still investigating the shooting.

“We will not rest until each person connected with this shooting has taken a seat in our booking room,” Police Chief Paul Oliveira said in the release.

Gilbert was discharged from a Boston hospital on Friday, police said.

“It will be necessary for him to return for a follow-up procedure in the near future, however, we are happy to see that he has made great progress towards recovery,” police wrote in a press release.

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