Special Reports

Shootings in Boston leave 3 dead, 1 hurt

Violence erupted over the weekend in Roxbury and Dorchester, where three men were shot to death and another was wounded in separate attacks only hours apart.

Bernard Wheeler, 23, of Roxbury, was shot in the side at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday as he sat in a Hyundai Excel parked outside 68 Homestead St. in Roxbury, police said. He was pronounced dead at Boston City Hospital.

Shortly after the shooting, police were called to Hutchings Street in Roxbury, where they found Albert Banks suffering from gunshot wounds to his leg and foot. Police are investigating whether Banks was in the car with Wheeler when they were shot.


Wheeler’s mother, Patricia, said her son “was not a gang member, but he did associate with gangs. He loved the streets.”

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She said she did not believe her son was targeted, but “was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Banks, who was treated and released from the hospital, refused to talk to a reporter yesterday. It was at least the second time he survived a shooting. In April 1991, Banks was wounded in a drive-by shooting in Roxbury.

Another man was shot in the head at 10 a.m. yesterday as he sat in a red Jaguar parked outside 130 Homestead St.

A witness told police the victim, Rodney Toon, 40, of Roxbury, climbed into the Jaguar’s passenger seat after talking to a man on the street when a gunman shot him, police said. The unidentified driver of the Jaguar drove Toon to Boston City Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


At about 9:40 p.m. Saturday, the body of Phillip Henry, 39, of Roxbury was found in a 1987 Toyota Cressida parked on Bullard Street in Dorchester. He also had been shot in the head.

Police spokesman Jim Browning said detectives are investigating whether any of the attacks are related. He declined to comment on whether drugs or gangs were involved.

On Homestead Street yesterday, young children appeared oblivious to potential danger as they played on sidewalks and porches, but several parents expressed fear about escalating violence. A gang feud was blamed for the shooting deaths of two men last summer as they sat on a stoop on Homestead Street.

“We don’t want to live here but we have no place else to go,” said a mother of three children who declined to give her name.

“I live here but I do not hang around here,” said resident Pierre Francois. “It is not safe. I think it is the drug thing. I think the police can do something about it. They should be around more.”


Police were making their presence felt yesterday. At about 1:30 p.m., two cruisers and two unmarked cars converged on a group of teenagers who were hanging out on a porch near where Toon was killed. Police lined up the teen- agers against a fence and frisked them. No arrests were made.