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July 22, 1993

Man called victim of nights on street

Note: This article is from the Globe archives. It originally ran on July 22, 1993.

Darryll Marriro often stayed up all night, hanging out on Harold Street in Roxbury till his boss came to get him at 6 a.m.

Before dawn yesterday morning, that restlessness may have cost him his life. Police say three men drove past his house and fired at him 15 times, hitting the 32-year-old once in the head and twice in the chest.

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Marriro staggered down the street, dying a few yards from the house where his family has lived for 50 years.

Marriro’s mother, Judith, said yesterday that her son was “hung up in the middle” - struggling to get ahead by day as a plumber’s assistant but unable to resist the streets by night.

Sitting on her porch and sobbing into a paper towel, Judith Marriro said she had warned her son time and again to stay away from the crack dealers who rule her streetcorner when the sun goes down.

”I knew he was hanging out with the wrong crowd,” she said. “I tried to get him to bed early, to be fresh for work. He was never a bad boy. He just couldn’t stay away from his friends.”

Boston police said yesterday that they had no motive for the attack. Although Marriro had been convicted of car theft, in recent years his record was relatively clean and he had never been arrested on drug charges.

He spent two years in the Army before growing homesick and returning to Boston to serve out his tour in the National Guard, his mother

said, but he picked up plumbing in the military and worked at the trade as often as he could.

”He was always on time whenever I came to get him,” said Willie Mitchell, a plumber in Hyde Park for nearly two decades and Marriro’s

boss for the past few years. “I knew he stayed up too late, sometimes all night, and I’d scold him on it a little. But he loved to work and he never let me down.”

Mitchell said Marriro was the first man he’d call when a job came up. He said his wife had phoned Marriro’s house before dawn yesterday, as she does almost every morning, to warn the family that Mitchell was on the way in his red plumber’s van. There was no answer. The family was at the morgue identifying the body.

”He was such a free-hearted guy,” Mitchell said. “I know he lived in rough parts, but I think he was trying to beat it. Guys like him, at least they try to break away from the crime.”

A family friend, Lloyd Johnson, said that Marriro had a wild side, but that he worked hard at an honest living. Johnson said Marriro would sit out late, often with a beer, but while he knew his friends were dealing crack he stayed away from it himself.

”I could see if he was a dealer, yes, he might deserve to be shot,” Johnson said. “But Darryll was a working dude. This is a hard street to live on. You can’t escape the crack heads.”

Yesterday, as Marriro’s relatives and neighbors stopped by to pay their respects, his mother and a few friends wondered how Harold

Street, where Melnea Cass once lived, had turned so bad.

”A few years ago this was a safe neighborhood,” Marriro said. “But now you never know about the gunfire. The drugs are just everywhere. It’s a fact of life and you can’t escape it.”

”Darryll often said the Army was the best time for him,” she said. “It gave him discipline and a trade. He loved being a plumber and he had skills. He liked getting dirty on the job.”

A youth who lives near the corner of Harold and Holworthy streets said the neighborhood was startled awake by the gunfire at about 3 a.m. The youth, who declined to be identified by name, said the shooting was probably a gang-related drive-by.

”I’m sorry he got killed, but you shouldn’t be hanging out here all night,” the youth said. “We have lots of shootings.”

Boston police say they are searching for three gunmen in a dark blue Toyota with tinted windows and body damage. They say they are hoping to interview a female witness who injured an ankle fleeing the scene.

After the shooting, Johnson and Jeffrey Jones, a cousin of Marriro who also lives at 131 Harold St., raced down the street with flashlights and found Darryll in a pool of blood.

They phoned Judith, who was at the Foxwood Casino in Ledyard, Conn., for a brief vacation. She raced back with a friend and learned early yesterday morning that her eldest son was dead.

”I went down there to get away from this,” she said, waving a cigarette at the street where she had grown up feeling safe.

”Everybody used to look out for everybody. Now when you hear a shot you think it might be your own. And here it was my own.”

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