March 29 (Reuters) - A Boston police officer who was shot in the face by a man during a traffic stop was improving after hours of surgery during which a bullet was removed from his neck, officials said on Sunday.
Six-year department veteran John Moynihan was shot just below the eye on Friday night by a 41-year-old man identified as Angelo West. Fellow officers returned fire and West, who had a criminal record including prior gun charges, died of wounds at the scene.
As the driver got out of the car, without warning he shot Moynihan, a 34-year-old former U.S. Army Ranger, in the face, police said. The bullet became lodged under his ear.
Moynihan underwent several hours of surgery at Boston Medical Center and doctors successfully removed the bullet, Police Department Commissioner William Evans said in a statement.
"I was happy to hear that he made it through surgery without any complications; it shows you what a strong kid he is," Evans said.
Moynihan was in stable and improving condition and was expected to be moved out of an intensive care unit in the coming days, Evans said.
The shooting, which took place around 6:40 p.m. on Friday, started as a traffic stop when two marked police cruisers containing six officers pulled a car over after reports of shots fired in the Roxbury neighborhood. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Eric Walsh)