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Man shot in S. Boston store once a Whitey Bulger base

BILL BRETT FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Two hours after yesterday’s shooting, the front of the Rotary Variety store, once used by notorious gangster James “Whitey’’ Bulger, was sealed off with yellow crime-scene tape.

A man in his 20s was shot and seriously injured yesterday inside a variety store in South Boston that notorious gangster James “Whitey’’ Bulger once used as part of his base of operations before fleeing in late 1994 to avoid a sweeping federal indictment.

Boston police said officers responded to a call at 309 Old Colony Ave., the address for the Rotary Variety store, at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday, where they found the victim.

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The man, whom police did not identify, was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition.

Police said that a suspect got into the passenger seat of a black Maxima with the Massachusetts registration 46XL76 and that the vehicle fled the area.

Both occupants of the car were described as black males, police said in a statement.

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Former Bulger lieutenant Kevin Weeks often collected “rent payments’’ from bookies, loansharks, and drug dealers at the store on behalf of Bulger, and the FBI was able to gain entry with a key in 1994 and install a hidden listening device.

Bulger was captured in California in June and is currently facing 19 murder charges in federal court in Boston as part of the indictment that prompted him to flee with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, who is charged with harboring him.

‘It’s crazy. . . . I feel bad’ for the victim.

Alex Ali A clerk at the Supreme House of Pizza next to Rotary Variety
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About two hours after yesterday’s shooting, the front of the store was sealed off with yellow crime-scene tape, and an officer was standing by the main entrance.

Other officers were investigating inside the store.

Alex Ali, 34 - a clerk at the Supreme House of Pizza, located next to Rotary Variety - said police flooded the area moments after the shooting.

Ali said he has worked at the pizza parlor for about three years and does not remember any prior shootings there or at Rotary Variety.

“It’s crazy,’’ he said. “Of course, I feel bad’’ for the victim.

Globe correspondent Colin A. Young contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.
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