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The Boston Globe

Opinion

LAWRENCE HARMON

Is it safe to walk to church?

‘You live around here?’’ It sounds like an innocent question. But the exchange may have triggered the Jan. 11 shooting of a 13-year-old boy as he walked along Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury on his way to choir practice.

The victim, Gabriel Clarke, is about as far removed spiritually and mentally from Roxbury street life as possible. The middle schooler serves as a junior deacon at the Berea Seventh Day Adventist Church on Seaver Street in Dorchester. In the parlance of the church, Clarke has “Jesus on his mind.’’ Now he is recovering from a stomach wound caused by a single shot from a blessedly small-caliber weapon.

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