Boston police officer dies after medical emergency - Metro - The Boston Globe

Wendy Maeda/Globe staff/file

Officer Dennis O. Simmonds (right) tossed a ball with Teshawn Coleman in 2011. Simmonds died after a medical emergency, police said.

A 28-year-old Boston police officer, who was wounded during the Watertown shootout with Boston Marathon bombing suspects and set to receive an award from President Barack Obama for his bravery, has died, according to police.

Officer Dennis O. Simmonds was on duty Thursday and had just taken his lunch break during in-service training at the Boston police academy in Hyde Park, when he suffered a medical emergency in the gym, said Sergeant Michael McCarthy, a police spokesman.

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He was rushed to the hospital, where he died Thursday. Police did not say what the medical emergency was.

Simmonds joined the department six years ago, and was assigned to the Youth Violence Strike Force in 2012. On April 19, 2013, he was involved in the shootout with the alleged Boston Marathon bombers in Watertown. One of them threw an explosive at him during the fight, and he suffered a head injury as a result of the blast, McCarthy said.

Simmonds received the department’s highest honor, the Schroeder Brothers Memorial Medal, in December, and was set to receive the Top Cop Award from President Obama in Washington, D.C., in May, said McCarthy.

Simmonds was a health nut, and loved to do Crossfit, road races and play basketball, according to a law enforcement official who knew him. Simmonds was “the picture of health,” he said.

McCarthy said that last night, Simmonds’s family shared with the department that being a police officer was Simmonds’s lifelong dream.

“It was all he ever talked about, and all he ever wanted to do,” said McCarthy.

Evan Allen can be reached at