A Brockton man on probation for assaulting his girlfriend allegedly fired at least eight shots into a group of as many as 60 people gathered in a courtyard at the Orchard Gardens housing development in Roxbury early Saturday, according to authorities.
“This incident occurred in an area that has been the source of many issues of violence recently . . . and over the summer,” Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Costello said during the arraignment Monday afternoon of suspected shooter Jeremy Harris and Terrance Johnson, who allegedly drove Harris from the scene and led police on a high-speed chase.
No one was injured.
The shooting occurred less than a half-hour after a shooting at 131 Harold St., about a mile and a half away, that left one person dead and another wounded. Police were looking for a Honda in connection with that shooting and said they saw Harris and Johnson in a similar vehicle.
The Harold Street shooting occurred in an area authorities consider gang territory, Costello told Roxbury District Court Judge David Weingarten, and Boston police later said the shootings may be gang-related.
“Detectives are looking into the possibility that the Eustis and Harold Street shootings are gang-related and retaliatory in nature,” said Cheryl Fiandaca, spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department.
Earlier this year, after a lengthy investigation targeting gang associates and focusing on drug dealing and violent crime, Boston police conducted a sweep of the area and apprehended nearly 75 people.
Police did not immediately respond to a question about whether Saturday’s shootings were gang-related.
At 11 p.m. Saturday, another shooting occurred, this one on Page Street in Dorchester, about 2 miles from Orchard Gardens.
A witness approached a nearby police officer and told him, “They were fighting and shooting,” according to a police report.
A 23-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition, while a 16-year-old male is expected to recover from his gunshot wounds. Both were taken to Boston Medical Center.
Costello detailed the case against Harris, 23, and Johnson, 25, saying that an officer noticed the Honda parked at the corner of Eustis and Adams streets and saw Harris get out and walk out of sight. The officer then heard eight shots and saw Harris run back to the car carrying a gun.
Police chased the car, which hit 70 miles per hour at one point as it sped through neighborhood streets and traveled on several one-way streets in the wrong direction.
Police said they witnessed Harris throw out a handgun, later recovered, on Forest Street. Costello described the firearm as a black Hi-Point 9mm, with an obliterated serial number.
Soon afterward, the car stopped near Half Moon Street and the suspects got out and fled on foot, but were apprehended a short time later.
Both were charged with assault by means of a deadly weapon and several other firearms offenses.
Weingarten ordered that Johnson, of Hyde Park, be held on $50,000 cash bail and that Harris be held on $100,000 cash bail.
Both are scheduled to return to court for hearings Aug. 21 in Boston Municipal Court.
Lawyers for both men entered not-guilty pleas on their behalf.
“There is a potential defense as to whether he knew the person was going to discharge the weapon,” said J. Whitfield Larrabee, Johnson’s lawyer.
Rebecca Kratka, who represented Harris, said her client adamantly denies the allegations.
Weingarten also revoked Harris’s bail on an open case from Brockton District Court.
According to records from that court, Harris was charged with assault and battery against his 22-year-old girlfriend, the mother of his toddler.
Although she had once filed a restraining order against Harris, the girlfriend was in court Monday to support him, and, according to Harris’s lawyer, the two were living together in New Bedford at the time of Harris’s arrest.Brian Ballou can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.