A gunman fired at least five times from close range at a man who had just left the Dorchester Municipal Court on Wednesday morning, leaving his intended target rattled but unscathed, according to a witness.
“He must be the luckiest person alive because there were five shots fired at him at point-blank range and he didn’t get hit, which is unbelievable” said Andy Kuzmich, who said he witnessed the shooting and provided police with the plate number of a black Mercedes sedan the suspect fled in.
The shooting, which occurred around 10 a.m., thrust the Dorchester neighborhood into momentary chaos as the victim ran from his car and back inside the courthouse, just as police arrived and blocked off nearby streets.
Police found the Mercedes a short time later on Bowdoin Street, and for about an hour, officials blocked off that area as a SWAT team moved in with weapons drawn to search for the suspect in nearby homes.
The male suspect has not been found, and police are continuing their search, said Boston police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca.
The neighborhood surrounding Dorchester Municipal Court has been the scene of several homicides, shootings, and stabbings in recent years. In May 2006, a 32-year-old man was fatally shot near 29 W. Tremlett St. and six months later a 28-year-old man was fatally stabbed outside the courthouse. In 2008, a man was stabbed in the face in front of the courthouse. Last year, three men were fatally shot and two wounded in three separate incidents.
Despite that, several people living near the scene of Wednesday’s incident called Tremlett Street quiet.
“This is a nice quiet street in Dorchester, and a lot of people get the misperception that there are shots, shootings on every street, and that’s just not true,” said Ray Kelley, 27, a resident of Tremlett for eight years.
“I’m surprised something like that happened so close,” said Andy Hardacker, 60, a resident of the street for 30 years. “This is a very quiet street.”
Kuzmich, who was in court to answer to a two-decade old traffic warrant, said he walked outside and down Tremlett Street behind a man dressed in a black winter jacket. The unidentified man got into his sedan, and Kuzmich got into his car, which was parked behind the sedan. Kuzmich said he noticed a man dressed in a bright red hoodie suddenly sprint up the street, stop in front of the sedan and fire at least five shots toward the driver. The gunman ran back down Tremlett Street and turned right on Hooper Street, Kuzmich said.
Seconds later, a black Mercedes sped by. Kuzmich said he noticed that the gunman was driving, so he followed the car and called 911 to give police the plate number. Kuzmich pulled over a short distance later, after noticing the suspect looking into his rear-view window. “I’m watching him looking in the mirror, and I thought it would be a good time to pull over,’’ he said.
Kuzmich returned to the courthouse and relayed what he saw to police. While he was talking to officers, Kuzmich saw the victim walking with other officers down Tremlett.
“I was thinking, really, that can’t be him, but it was him. Wow, he didn’t get hit.”