Boston police and elected officials said Wednesday that authorities are making progress in the investigation into a quadruple shooting over the weekend in Dorchester that left three young women dead, while urging the public to continue providing tips to law enforcement.
“We’ve got significant leads,” Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis told a crowd of over 200 people who gathered Wednesday night at a Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston building in Dorchester to discuss the crime, which some veteran officers have called the worst act of violence against women in the city in recent memory.
Davis did not provide details about the leads officers have received while investigating the slayings of Sharrice Perkins, Kristen Lartey, and Genevieve Philip, all 22, who were fatally shot as they sat in a car Sunday night on Harlem Street.
A fourth woman, whom police have not identified, was shot in the leg and is expected to survive.
But Davis and other officials, including Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, called on residents to report information to the Police Department’s anonymous tip line, at 1-800-494-TIPS.
‘Let’s continue to work together to solve this problem.’
Menino said that the line was busy for several hours Wednesday and that community assistance would be key in solving the case and making the city safer.
“Let’s continue to work together to solve this problem,” the mayor said. “When we work together we can solve anything. As a city, we’re united.”
Conley urged witnesses to come forward and vowed that authorities will find out who is responsible for the slayings.
“We will build the evidence and solve this case,” Conley said. “Let’s work real hard together to break the culture of silence in this city.”
While those at the meeting expressed support for police, some were clearly frustrated by the recent spate of violence in the city that has taken the lives of five people since Sunday, including a man in his 20s who was stabbed to death near Dudley Square in Roxbury Wednesday.
One man at Wednesday’s meeting told Menino that he recently received phone calls from his four grandchildren who attend colleges across the country and who asked him, “If I come to Boston, will I get killed?
“How can we make it safer?” the man asked.
Menino said safer streets require help from the entire community. “We have to work together,” he said, and “show these kids that there are people who care for them.”
Authorities have released few details about the slayings, and police said Monday that they are trying to locate the occupants of a white sport utility vehicle with a black top, halogen lamps, and fog lamps that was captured on surveillance cameras in the area at the time of the attack.
On Monday, Davis said that police are looking into several possible scenarios that may have led to the slayings, including a theory that they were gang-related, but declined to elaborate.
No arrests have been made.
The victims’ relatives have described them as friends who became a tightknit group in high school at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science in Roxbury.
Perkins was a former engineering student working as a hotel clerk, Lartey had recently finished college and was looking for a job, and Philip, the mother of a 5-year-old girl, was hoping to eventually open a beauty salon, relatives said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Harlem Street appeared to be calm, as a homeowner sanded down his balcony, a mother picked up her preschooler from a bus stop, and a longtime resident swept up pieces of paper along a sidewalk gutter.
Myrtle Huggins, a community activist, said at the meeting that the violence has been difficult to endure.
“We’ve gone through all the trials and tribulations,” she said, adding that people need to contact police with information. “People have to step up to the plate.”
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