A Dorchester man was arrested Wednesday for an October shooting that left a 9-year-old girl paralyzed, police said.
Dominique Jerard Finch, 27, was arrested shortly after noon by members of the Boston Police Fugitive Apprehension Unit and charged with assault to murder, aggravated assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Finch will be arraigned Thursday in Roxbury District Court.
On Oct. 9 at 1 a.m., gunfire broke out at a Roxbury housing development where a family was celebrating the birthday of a teenager with special needs. The girl was with adults as she played outside, neighbors said.
Police have said the child was apparently struck by “indiscriminate” gunfire that might have originated at another party nearby.
Police Commissioner William B. Evans said convincing witnesses to come forward was difficult.
“This case was particularly troubling to us because it not only involved a young victim, but we encountered uncooperative witnesses,” Evans said in a statement. “Despite roadblocks, the detectives have worked tirelessly in gathering physical evidence, and they look forward to presenting a strong case in court to bring justice for this little girl and her family.”
Last year, Finch was charged with assault and battery for his role in the beating of a 20-year-old man at The Green Briar, a pub in Brighton. In 2013, Finch was charged with assaulting a police officer.
In 2008, Finch was arrested by Boston police on marijuana possession charges after his cousin, Jermeil Amir Robinson, a reputed member of a gang with ties to the Bromley-Heath housing complex in Jamaica Plain, allegedly shot an 11-year-old boy and two 12-year-old boys because they lived at a development connected to a rival gang.
Police found Finch with a gunshot wound to his foot. It was unclear who shot him or whether he was involved in the shooting of the boys. At the time, a prosecutor described Finch as an “impact player” in the gang.
On Wednesday, community activists applauded the arrest but stressed the need for services to help prevent further violence.
“Although this arrest may bring some closure, it doesn’t bring any healing to the neighborhoods that are dealing with the loss of this young man and the shooting that changed this young girl’s life,” said Rufus Faulk, program director for the Boston TenPoint Coalition, an antiviolence group. “If [Finch] had so many run-ins with the law, we should have got him the healing he needed to prevent a continuation of tragedy from happening in our neighborhoods.”
Faulk described the October shooting as “an example of the retaliatory violence that continues to cause more victims.”
Monica Cannon, who works with at-risk youth, said both families will need help moving forward.
“It is the victim’s family who has to deal with a child who is paralyzed, and the family of the perpetrator who committed a crime, they lose a family member,” Cannon said. “We have to look at the root causes that led him to get to a point where he was shooting.”