CAMBRIDGE — Jacqueline de Jesus was enjoying the fireworks the residents of Windsor Street were setting off Thursday night when suddenly, the street went quiet. Then her neighbor came rushing toward her, crying, saying she thought de Jesus’ son had been shot.
De Jesus raced across the street, where she saw a young man lying still on the ground. It was not her son. It was the son of her friend, “a nice boy,” whom she had always simply called “Papi.”
“He looked terrible,” de Jesus said. “Blood on his chin. Then, I see all the blood on the back of his head.”
The man, whom police have described only as being in his early 20s and whom friends declined to name, was seriously injured in the drive-by shooting at around 10 p.m. Thursday. He was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries, Cambridge Police spokesman Jeremy Warnick said, where he remained in stable but serious condition Friday. No arrests have been made.
The shooting was not random, Warnick said.
“Obviously, there is going to be some . . . connection between the suspect and the victim,” he said. “By all accounts, I believe he was an intended target.”
Jeffrey Shapiro, a spokesman for the Middlesex district attorney’s office, said that deliberate targeting was “consistent with where we are right now.”
Officials said multiple shots were fired, but it was not immediately known how many times the victim was struck.
De Jesus said that the gunshots came as fireworks were being set off, and she did not even realize there had been a shooting.
A dark sedan was seen speeding away from the scene toward Main Street immediately after the incident, Warnick said.
On Friday afternoon, a group of young people sitting on a stoop on Windsor Street near where the young man was shot said they knew him.
“He was an awesome kid,” said one woman, who declined to give her name. The group said they were too distraught to talk.
A man who identified himself only as “Manny,” who sat smoking a cigarette across the street from where the young man had been shot, said Manny’s mother had called 911. Manny’s mother told him the young man had been shot over a fight about a chain.
“A material thing, a chain,” said Manny, who declined to give his full name because of a fear of reprisal. “He got shot for money.”
Manny’s mother, he said, was terribly upset by the shooting.
The stretch of Windsor Street where the shooting occurred is lined by two-family homes on one side and the Washington Elms Housing Development, a complex of brick apartments, on the other. On Friday, fireworks boxes lay in the courtyard.
Selvin Chambers, 51, who grew up in Washington Elms, was meeting Friday in the courtyard with a volunteer group called the Men of Area 4, which every year hosts a big Fourth of July cookout in the development for residents, with music and rides. The cookout is slated for Sunday, he said, and the group will hold a moment of silence for the young man who was shot.
“It’s a senseless violent act that we, the Men of Area 4, don’t condone, and don’t want to tolerate, either,” he said. Chambers said his group will talk to young people in the area to try to calm things down.
Two bunches of flowers and a burning candle had been left at the spot on Windsor Street where the young man was shot.
Cambridge police, State Police, and the Middlesex district attorney’s office are investigating. Cambridge has only had one homicide so far this year, Warnick said, and shootings are rare.