Albert Henson (defendant) entered a gas station with a woman. The woman cursed, and an off-duty police officer asked Henson to keep her quiet. Henson pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer’s stomach. Henson asked the officer, “Why should I?” The officer put up his hands and backed off. As Henson was leaving the store, the officer pulled out his gun, pointed it at Henson, and ordered him to stop. Henson turned and fired his gun at the officer. The officer and Henson exchanged gunfire, each shooting five or six rounds, and the officer arrested Henson. No bullets hit the officer, and no bullets from Henson’s gun were recovered from the scene. Henson stated that he knew the gun was loaded with blanks prior to entering the gas station. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts (plaintiff) charged Henson with assault by means of a dangerous weapon. At the end of the trial, Henson moved for a directed verdict. The trial court denied the motion, and the jury convicted Henson of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. Henson appealed.