Landlord’s son is charged in Somerville shooting

SOMERVILLE — A shooting on the porch of a Broadway home Sunday night occurred during a dispute between the landlord’s son and a tenant, the brother of the accused shooter said Monday.

Santano Dessin, 33, was arrested by Somerville police around 11:30 p.m. Sunday outside 196 Broadway, a three-family home that the Dessin family has owned for decades, according to public records and the office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.

Dessin is accused of shooting a 28-year-old man who was being treated for life-threatening injuries at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.


The victim’s name has not been released.

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According to Stephanie Chelf Guyotte, a spokeswoman for Leone, the victim is a Somerville resident but does not live at 196 Broadway.

Dessin’s brother, Jacques, said Monday that his brother was the shooter, and also alleged that Santano Dessin had acted in self-defense after he was confronted on the front porch of his family’s home by a first-floor tenant and two other men.

He said his brother had just stepped onto the front porch when the tenant and two other men refused to let him back into the building.

“They attacked my brother,” said Jacques Dessin, who added that his brother was legally licensed to carry a firearm, a fact confirmed by authorities.


“It’s a sad situation, but I’m grateful that, at least, these people didn’t harm my brother,” Jacques Dessin said.

Jacques Dessin said his brother served in the Army and is unemployed, having last worked as a substitute teacher at a charter school in Dorchester.

Santano Dessin lives in the second-floor unit with his parents, both of whom are in their 60s, his brother said. According to a neighbor and public records, the Dessin family has been living in the building since about 1988.

“They’ve been good neighbors,” Joe Ferrazzani, a neighbor, said Monday. “There have never been any problems.”

Santano Dessin is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Somerville District Court on charges of assault with intent to murder, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, according to the prosecutor's office.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at