NEW BEDFORD — A city police detective who was shot in the face Monday night was released from a Boston hospital Friday afternoon, according to the city’s police department. 

Det. Lavar Gilbert, who has served the department for 17 years, much of it in the narcotics division, had driven himself to St. Luke’s Hospital after being shot near the intersection of Rivet and Orchard Streets while working undercover in an unmarked vehicle, police said.


“We are grateful for the outpouring of support and well wishes from the public and surrounding law enforcement agencies,” NBPD said in a Facebook statement Friday. “It will be necessary for [Det. Gilbert] 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.”

As of Friday, no arrests have been made and the investigation remains active. Mayor Jon Mitchell during a Tuesday press conference said law enforcement are pursuing several leads.

The “nature of the officer’s job assignment that night (and every night) put the officer in close proximity to a suspect or suspects who opened fire on another person or persons,” said Massachusetts State Police Col. John Mawn Jr. in a statement earlier this week. “Both the detective and another individual received non life-threatening gunshot wounds.”

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MSP troopers assigned to the district attorney’s office and agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are working with city police on the case as they continue their investigation to identify “the person or people” responsible for injuring by gunfire a citizen and a police officer, Mawn Jr. said.

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Credit: Anastasia E. Lennon / The New Bedford Light

Law enforcement officials said evidence at this time does not suggest the police or Det. Gilbert were targets, and it seems he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Police also said there is no reason to believe there is an ongoing threat to safety in the Goulart Square neighborhood.

The police department has asked anyone with information about the shooting to call the NBPD at 508-99-CRIME, or to reach out to the department via its website or Facebook page. This can be done anonymously.

Email Anastasia E. Lennon at

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