On the one-week anniversary, nearly to the moment, of the shooting deaths of Tremayne Jackson and Mibsam Wiggins, Jackson’s girlfriend visited their makeshift memorial in Roxbury and peeled off the clear plastic wrapping that had protected the T-shirts, flowers, and condolence cards from the rain.
“Today’s a sunny day, it’s nice out and like summer, so I’m feeling better today than I have since this happened,” said Desirae Dancy, 23, the mother of Jackson’s two children, ages 2 and 3.
A half mile away at the Warren Gardens housing development, Jackson’s mother sat on a chair on her front lawn, under the same blue skies, and pondered the approaching holiday. “It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, so that will be very tough to get through,” said Dorcas Jackson. “He was a handsome dude, didn’t argue, didn’t fight. Just like me, he was very shy.” She said her son doted on his children.
Jackson, 22, and Wiggins, 23, had been best friends since childhood. Jackson, as his mother said, was the shy one, while Wiggins often told jokes and was outgoing, friends said. On May 3, they were sitting in a silver rental car in the Walgreens parking lot at 416 Warren St. in Roxbury when, according to police, a gunman or gunmen approached on foot and fired repeatedly into the car, hitting both men multiple times.
The double homicide shook residents from Warren Gardens to Boston Latin Academy across the street from the drugstore. The shootings took place near dismissal time for the students. It was unclear Friday whether the school had been put into lockdown.
After Jackson and Wiggins were killed, as word traveled throughout Warren Gardens, a large group of youths gathered near Jackson’s apartment. They cried, hugged each other, and told stories about the two men.
“They were truly respectful men, polite, ones you would want to be around; they brought around good vibes,” said Brittany Sanders, 27, a friend of both who visited the memorial on the sidewalk outside the Walgreens on Friday.
It has been only a week, but without any arrests, speculation about a motive and who might have shot the men was rampant across the community.
Several residents said there had been a heated argument at another location and that two gunmen followed Jackson and Wiggins to the parking lot. Several other people said the argument began inside the store, over some small slight, and then escalated in the parking lot.
None of those residents interviewed witnessed any events leading up to the shootings and did not see the shootings.
Dancy said Jackson had gone to Walgreens to get medicine for their 2-year-old son.
“There are a whole bunch of stories going around,” she said. “I don’t know what to believe, because they didn’t do anything to anyone.”
Law enforcement officials said Wiggins does not have a criminal record. Jackson was placed on probation in March, out of Roxbury District Court, officials said, after he pleaded guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute.
“As far as a motive, investigators are continuing to evaluate all possible aspects of the case, but at this time it would be premature to say anything,” said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office.
Brittany Sanders’s mother, Cheryl Sanders, who lives at Warren Gardens, said she has visited Dorcas Jackson daily since the shootings to offer support.
“When you lose your child, it’s something different,” she said. “I’ve been telling her to stay praying.”
Cheryl Sanders said she knows what it feels like to lose a child because she lost two sons in recent years to violence.
“This week is Mother’s Day, and I won’t be getting those two phone calls from my sons. You never get over it; you just get past it,” Sanders said. “It’s the most terrible news a mother can get.’’