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Woman stabbed to death in South Boston housing project, police say

A woman in her 20s was arrested Friday night in connection with the fatal stabbing of another woman in South Boston, a department spokesman said. It was the fourth homicide in the neighborhood since mid-April.

David Estrada, a police spokesman, said officers responded at 8:30 p.m. to a call for a cardiac arrest at 242 East Ninth St., which is part of the Old Colony housing development.

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The woman who died was later determined to be a stabbing victim. She was taken to Boston Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, Estrada said.

Officers arrested the suspect in connection with the stabbing, Estrada said, but police did not release her name or any charges she faces. The victim’s name was also not released, and the motive for the stabbing was unclear. The relationship between the victim and the suspect was not immediately known.

Hayley Nee, an 18-year-old woman at the scene, said the stabbing victim was her mother, Shannon McCormick, 38. A distraught Nee said that her aunt and grandmother had called while she was out with friends to say her mother had been stabbed. When she arrived on East Ninth Street, she said, she asked a friend what happened.

“I said, ‘Just tell me if it was my mom,’ ” Nee said. The friend told her, “It’s your mom. And I just went insane.”

Nee said McCormick lived in the apartment building across the street from No. 242. Police officers remained outside the door of the second-floor apartment in the three-story brick building where the stabbing occurred Friday night.

Residents of the building said they heard yelling and banging on the door of the apartment, where they said a man lived.“I heard a woman’s voice say, ‘Open the door, open the door,’ ” said Elizabeth Diaz, who lives on the third floor of the building. Diaz was in the middle of a Bible study, she said, and so did not pay attention to what was happening.

A neighbor who asked not to be identified said she called police after seeing a young woman banging and kicking the door, shouting that she wanted to get items inside the apartment.

Keisha Gomez, 26, who lives on the third floor, said she moved into the building about a year ago, and had never had any problems there.

“I heard yelling, but there’s always commotion,” she said. “I didn’t expect it to escalate this far. It’s scary.”

After the rash of homicides this spring, residents in the neighborhood have expressed concern about the prevalence of drugs and violence in the community.

On April 16, 67-year-old Barbara Coyne was fatally stabbed in her East Seventh Street home, allegedly by an drug addict looking for expensive fishing gear.

In late May, Richard Hallahan, 70, and Diane Bourglas, 54, were found murdered inside a burning apartment in a West Broadway housing development.

Police have vowed to crack down on the area drug trade, and have arrested dozens of people since Coyne’s murder. On Thursday, the department said it had conducted a warrant sweep that targeted 93 individuals on outstanding warrants for drug offenses and property crimes.

Estrada said there have been 21 homicides in Boston in 2012, compared with 16 at this time last year.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com and Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at zachary.sampson@globe.com.
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