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‘They shot the wrong person,’ mother says in Dorchester slaying

Boston police are investigating the shooting death of a 27-year-old man who was killed Monday night in front of his home on Devon Street in Dorchester, according to law enforcement officials and the man’s friends and neighbors.

The victim, who was identified by his mother as Antoine Marquis Dingle-Knight, was shot at around 9:32 p.m. and taken to Boston Medical Center, where a police spokeswoman said he died of his wounds later that night.

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“Preliminary information in the investigation indicates this may have been gang-related,” said Officer James Kenneally, a police spokesman. “It does appear to be an isolated incident.”

Dingle-Knight’s mother, Annetta Dingle-Smith, said she heard the gunshots and ran to the porch where she found her son lying on the ground, gasping for air.

“I was calling out to him, ‘hold on,’ ” she said. “He was just saying ‘ah, ah.’

“They shot the wrong person,” said Dingle-Smith, who added that she believed her son was not part of a gang.

She said Dingle-Knight was a great father to his nine children, and that “his dream was to be a songwriter and singer. He had his own little studio where he wrote his own music and songs. He liked Gospel, he liked old-school music, and rap.”

Barbara Lee, 66, who lives across the street, said she heard six to eight gunshots, and then screaming. She looked out the window and saw people running.

“I was devastated,” said Lee, who has lived on the street for 33 years. “I was totally devastated. I was devastated that it was him.”

Lee said she could hear people gathered around Dingle-Knight saying that the shooter or shooters traveled by foot, not by car, and came from an alleyway that backs up onto a field across the street.

She pointed down an alleyway, which runs along her house, to a missing section of wooden fence that separates the alley from the field. She said the section was removed sometime between Monday and Tuesday morning, and police spent time in the alley after the slaying.

Authorities could not immediately confirm or deny that account of the shooting.

Lee said Dingle-Knight lived on the street since he was a little boy, and was a respectful and kind person. Whenever he saw her driving down the street, she said, he would open the gate across her driveway for her.

“He was always decent to me,” Lee said.

A friend of the victim, who declined to give her name citing privacy concerns, said he doted on his children. He took care of everyone in the three-decker where he lived, she said, often shoveling or taking out the trash. He also loved to ride his motorcycle, which sat covered on the sidewalk next to a shrine of candles, she said.

“He wasn’t gang-affiliated,” she said. “No one knows where or why it came from.”

No arrests have been made, police said.

The death on Devon Street is the 34th homicide this year compared with 29 murders last year as of Aug. 13, according to a police spokesman.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.

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