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The Boston Globe

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Violent crime rise alarms activists

A spate of deadly violence and nonfatal shootings and stabbings in recent weeks has rocked several of Boston’s communities, after a relatively calm start to the year.

Since Friday, there have been three fatal shootings, one fatal stabbing, and at least four nonfatal shootings and stabbings in Dorchester, the South End, and Mattapan, violence that has alarmed community activists. The police commissioner suggested that the warmer weather may be a factor.

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Antiviolence activist Emmett Folgert, executive director of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, said the amount of violence in the past week is anomalous.

“We are looking at several different kinds of homicides all occurring within a short time span,’’ Folgert said. “There is what appears to be gang-related, but then you have several odd ones that really are extremely difficult to prevent because they are unconnected occurrences, not predictable and the motives vary. “One thing we can do is work with the families of the victims, deal with the aftermath, so that violence doesn’t arise from what has happened in the past week.’’

Last year, there were two homicides through Feb. 21, but this year, there have been five, with three occurring in the past week, according to Boston police statistics. There have also been 17 nonfatal shootings so far this year, three of which occurred Sunday, according to the statistics. The homicide victims range in age from 18 to 72.

The first homicide of the year occurred on Jan. 14. Christopher Pichard, 18, of Lynn was fatally shot on Trull Street in Dorchester. The second homicide was on Feb. 9 in an apartment on Tremont Street in the South End, where a 50-year-old man was apparently bludgeoned to death.

The other three homicides were in the past week.

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Mary Miller, the oldest victim, was stabbed to death inside her Codman Hill Avenue residence in Dorchester Tuesday. Her upstairs neighbor, Tu Nguyen, 28, was arraigned on a murder charge in her killing and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation.

On Sunday, Keisha Gilmore, 25, was fatally shot at 26 Alabama St. in Mattapan as she sat in a car. Moments later, in an unrelated case in Blackstone Square Park in the South End, Mohammed Hassan, 21, of Boston was fatally shot.

Yesterday by phone, Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said: “This week was a bad week, no question. . . . We had a couple of gang-related incidents and a couple of shootings outside of that, and we’ve been able to make some arrests. We’re satisfied that we are taking the right tack with these incidents.’’

Davis said police cracked down on gang activity in the Blackstone area last year and are prepared to make more arrests in that area if warranted.

Davis hinted that weather may be a factor.

“We were under a heavy blanket of snow last year, and we don’t have that this year,’’ he said.

Brian R. Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou.

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