A man shot a postal worker in the wrist Friday night in Dorchester while the mailman was in the back of his truck, police said.
The masked assailant entered the rear of the postal truck and shot the mail carrier, who was on-duty at the time, during a scuffle near 35 Bailey St. just after 6 p.m., police said.
Boston police Superintendent Kevin Buckley said at the scene that the assailant “robbed and shot” the worker. But he later told reporters that authorities were investigating whether the suspect made off with any items.
The mail carrier jumped out of the truck after being wounded, and neighbors came to his aid and called police, according to Buckley.
He said the shooter wore a black hooded jacket and a mask and initially tried to drive off in the truck. But he abandoned that plan and instead escaped by running through back yards onto Fuller Street.
Buckley said police were combing the area and trying to find witnesses, as well as checking for video surveillance, in an effort to apprehend the attacker.
The postal worker was being treated at Boston Medical Center, Buckley said. He did not have the worker’s age and said his injuries are not life-threatening.
Buckley also condemned the shooting.
“It’s terrible,” Buckley said. “This time of year, the postal folks, as well as UPS, all these delivery people are out here working harder than they normally do. And we have somebody now taking the opportunity to try to steal whatever was in the truck.”
The postal truck remained parked at about 8:30 p.m. near the shooting scene.
Boston police and postal inspectors were walking through the cordoned-off area with flashlights and dogs, seeking evidence.
A pair of glasses was lying in the middle of the street near an evidence marker.
Police also flooded the area near the Ashmont MBTA stop, which is within walking distance of the crime scene, shortly after the shooting.
Becca DeFrancisco, 40, of Dorchester, said near the station that she and other Red Line passengers were told to exit the train at the Shawmut stop at about 6:25 p.m., due to police activity.
“I needed to catch a cab, and there’s none here right now,” she said.
Back near the crime scene, Buckley was asked if delivery workers were being targeted.
He did not answer directly but said, “I think people are taking a chance to see if they can get presents or anything of value from the truck itself.”
Buckley said police are currently seeking just the lone suspect.
One Bailey Street resident, Roberto Ortiz, was caught off guard by the news.
“I’m just surprised,” he said.