Two young men died yesterday after being shot multiple times in a daylight attack on a busy commercial corner in Dorchester, police and witnesses said.
The victims, whom police did not identify, were found shortly before 2 p.m., lying in the street near the intersection of Bowdoin and Topliff streets, witnesses said.
Paramedics took the men to Boston Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.
A woman who said she was a relative identified one of the victims last night as Kenny Murray Jr., 22, of Dorchester. The woman, Sheila Brown, who said she was Murray’s aunt, identified the other victim as Greg and said he was 19.
“Kenny was a nice person, and the two were very good friends,” she said. “He would go to the store if I needed him. He was a loving brother. He was just a nice person.”
Brown said she didn’t know why her nephew was shot. She said he was recently released from jail after he was arrested on charges of selling marijuana. She said Murray had three brothers and three sisters.
The shootings marked the city’s 26th and 27th homicides of the year, five more than at the same time last year, police said. There have been 168 shootings this year by June 4, police said, compared with 94 by that date last year.
“We’re stepping up and have stepped up our patrols in the area since the last spate of violence” near Bowdoin Street, said Superintendent Robert Dunford, referring to a recent string of fatal shootings on Draper, Hamilton, and Wendover streets.
Witnesses said they saw several men flee the scene down Olney Street.
John Gunn, 58, said he became concerned when he heard three gunshots, because he was waiting for his 13-year-old grandson to get off a school bus. Then his grandson came home and told Gunn that he saw a person who appeared to be injured.
“Gunshots or firecrackers, there’s always something popping around this area,” Gunn said. “There are shots being fired here all the time.”
Neighborhood activists said they are concerned that the shooting reflects a culture of impunity, in which assailants no longer worry about firing weapons in the middle of the day, even on a busy street.
“We’re all devastated that it happened during the day,” said Denise Gonsalves, executive director of the Cape Verdean Community UNIDO, a local group that has protested the neighborhood’s relentless violence.
“Anytime violence happens during the day, it’s bolder and more brazen,” Gonsalves said. “Younger children are at risk, because they’re coming home on buses. We need to find a way to have peace.”