After leaving a South Boston courthouse where he came face-to-face with the Hyde Park man accused of killing his son, the Rev. Moses J. Taylor Sr. on Thursday decried the violence gripping society and expressed compassion for the family of the alleged shooter.
“It affects every family,” said Taylor, who wore a sweat shirt bearing the phrase, “Families against guns and violence.”
“You go to the schools, they have metal detectors. You can’t go to the mall without shootings. You can’t go to the movies. You can’t sit on your front porch. You can’t do anything,” said Taylor, pastor of the Anointed Church in Dorchester.
Inside South Boston Municipal Court, a prosecutor alleged that Taylor’s 23-year-old son, Daniel, was fatally shot by his colleague, Marquis Smith, after they started arguing while driving from a work-sponsored party on Feb. 22.
Daniel P. Taylor gave Smith, 23, a ride after leaving a party at Jillian’s Boston, said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Hickman.
Taylor and Smith worked for VPNE Parking Solutions, which provides valet parking at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Hickman said. The valet company didn’t return messages on Thursday.
While driving from the party, Taylor picked up another colleague, who didn’t attend the work function, and a fourth person, Hickman said. When they got to Boston Street, Taylor and Smith discussed where to drop Smith off, but sometime after midnight an argument erupted, she said.
The dispute came to a head at the intersection of Boston and Howell streets, where Hickman said Taylor stopped his car, got out, and removed Smith from the front passenger seat.
A fight lasting about 15 minutes ensued, during which “there was a lot of yelling; there was some shoving; there was some pushing,” Hickman said.
As Smith was walking in front of DJ’s European Deli & Market at 120 Boston St., Hickman said, he turned around and shot Taylor multiple times before fleeing toward Andrew Station with the murder weapon.
The fatal shots were fired at about 12:42 a.m. on Feb. 23 and Taylor was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center at 1:01 a.m., according to a police report filed in court.
Hickman’s statement drew cries of disagreement from more than a dozen people who packed into the courtroom to support Smith. Some of his backers called out, “Love you, bro” and “Bro, you good,” as they left the courtroom, but they declined to speak with reporters.
After Smith was arrested on Wednesday at his workplace, he told investigators that Taylor dropped him off at his girlfriend’s house that night, Hickman said.
“Mr. Smith told investigators that he only learned of Mr. Taylor’s death that next morning when someone called him,” she said. When presented with evidence in the case, Smith allegedly responded: "I don’t know. I was drunk. I don’t remember anything,” Hickman said.
Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, declined to comment specifically on what led to Smith’s arrest.
Sergeant Michael McCarthy, a Boston police spokesman, said the case is an example of homicide detectives “not only identifying a suspect, but ensuring that the case withstands the judicial process up to and including an appeal.”
Smith appeared before District Court Judge Michael Bolden wearing a red, VPNE polo shirt. Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf to charges of murder and unlicensed possession of a firearm.
Defense attorney Robert L. Sheketoff sought bail, saying the Brighton High School graduate doesn’t have a criminal record.
Bolden ordered Smith held without bail and set a probable cause hearing for Sept. 18.
Outside of court, Taylor’s father reflected on how his son used to give him rides.
“I just found out today that the young man that is in custody for my son’s murder was in the car [because] my son gave him a ride,’’ said Taylor. “My son was so kind. Real kind. Loving.’’
Taylor said his family and Smith’s family are in pain.
“My son is gone. And his brother and his sister and his mom – they lose a child, a brother,’’ Taylor said.John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed. Laura Crimaldi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.