Boston police are investigating 10 shootings that took place over the weekend, the most violent period since the July 4 long weekend last year when six people were murdered and 14 others shot in the city, police said.
None of the victims from this past weekend’s wave of street crime suffered life-threatening injuries. Police have arrested one man — and recovered an alleged illegal firearm used during the shooting — just hours after one of the incidents.
Sergeant Detective John Boyle, a Police Department spokesman, said shootings and other acts of violence increase during the summer. He said the department is redeploying officers in reaction to the shootings based partly on information from the Boston Regional Intelligence Center.
“We have increased patrols and directed them to certain areas,” Boyle said. “We continue to work with all of our community partners, and naturally we urge them to contact police with any information” they may have about crime issues in their neighborhood.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said prosecutors would closely review each shooting.
“We are very fortunate that there were no fatalities,” she said in a statement. “But ten shootings over the weekend is very troubling; it results in each of the victims having significant trauma and collateral outcomes. Our victim witness advocates will be in communication with victims and witnesses to provide support and connect each with resources and services they may need now or in the future.”
Acting Mayor Kim Janey said Monday she was dismayed by the weekend’s violence, but also noted that what are known as Part 1 crimes — which include homicides, rapes, aggravated assaults, robberies, larcenies, burglaries, and auto thefts — remain down in Boston compared to last year.
”I certainly want to stress the importance of safety, healing, and justice in all of our neighborhoods. We don’t want to see violence, any violence,” Janey said.
The Boston Globe reported last week that the most serious forms of interpersonal violent crime were down by 17 percent compared to last year.
Through July 11, the city had experienced 20 homicides, versus 26 slayings for the same period last year, according to police. This year’s number of killings was also less than Boston’s five-year average of 33 during the time period.
Additionally, there were 27 fewer shooting victims — 133 last year versus 106 this year. The number of fatal shootings also decreased from 22 to 12.
Janey said she will push ahead with her “summer safety plan” as police “continue their work to investigate these incidents, working certainly with others in our community.”
Boyle lauded officers for seizing hundreds of illegal firearms already this year in an effort to keep residents safe.
“The members of the BPD continue to take guns off the street used in crimes,” Boyle said in a statement. “Year to date, we have taken 310 firearms that were used in crimes off the street compared to this time last year when we recovered 256.”
City Councilor at Large Annissa Essaibi George, who is running for mayor, said she was both “heartbroken and frustrated for many of our residents living with the pain and trauma of gun violence.”
“Boston must invest in both tackling the root causes of gun violence and public safety measures,” she said. “We can and should do both. Too often, leaders choose one over the other and I wholeheartedly reject that notion.”
10 shot over the weekend, 9 of those in under 24 hours. Boston’s plans must reflect the realities residents in our neighborhoods face every day. We need to invest in both tackling the root causes of gun violence and public safety measures. We can and should do both. https://t.co/MI6EVGiGue— Annissa Essaibi George (@AnnissaForBos) July 12, 2021
City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michelle Wu said the weekend violence was “another reminder of how urgently we need to have a summer safety plan in place across the city.’'
“Residents and community members have for months been talking about this urgency, given the reopening of the city,” Wu said. “We need to be investing and coordinating in safe spaces for young people, for social activity, and to work with community-based organizations to create opportunities all summer long.’'
John F. Barros, the city’s chief of economic development and a mayoral candidate, said: “The violence in the city over the weekend, as well as the lack of response from Acting Mayor Janey, is unacceptable and deeply troubling. Everyone, in every neighborhood, should be able to feel safe. Improving public safety starts with creating better opportunities for people — through education, youth programs, access to employment, and community investment.”
City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who is also running for mayor, said she was “deeply concerned about the shootings this weekend.”
“It’s critical that we work with federal and state leaders by implementing proven solutions like background checks on ammunition, closing the gun show loophole and stopping illegal gun trafficking,” Campbell said. “To truly solve the epidemic of gun violence, we need to address its root causes, because police alone will never be able to eradicate violence.”
July has been a difficult month for the city, said the Rev. Mark V. Scott, director of the Boston Public Health Commission’s division of violence prevention. Along with the shootings, there was a fatal drowning in South Boston and a police officer who shot and injured a man in Jamaica Plain. That trauma compounds, and complicates long-term solutions and healing.
“The violence spikes and surges,” Scott said. “And we tend to react to that. And I think that what we need to do is come up with a response that addresses both prevention and the things that drive the violence in the first place.”
The 10th victim this weekend was shot around 8:30 p.m. Sunday on Smith Street in the city’s Mission Hill neighborhood. The victim’s injuries were not life-threatening, police said.
No arrests have been made in that shooting. However, police have made an arrest in a shooting that took place around 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Dorchester.
Boma Howell, who is also known as Boma Collins, was arrested around 4:40 p.m. Saturday in connection with the midmorning shooting on Delano Street that left one man wounded with a non-life- threatening injury. Police said they also recovered a partially loaded snub-nosed revolver that was allegedly used in the shooting.
Also Saturday, four men were wounded in a single shooting incident near 34 Cameron St. in Dorchester. Officers on the scene applied tourniquets to two of the victims, “possibly saving their lives,” said Boyle.
Just after 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a man was shot near 360 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain. He was found suffering from non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital, police said.
On Friday, just before 9:30 p.m., a woman was shot near 571 Dudley St. in Dorchester. She was taken to a hospital for treatment of a non-life-threatening wound. A short time later, two men showed up at a hospital emergency room with gunshot wounds, said Officer Stephen McNulty, a police spokesman.
Their injuries were also not life-threatening. Neither man would share information about where they were shot, McNulty said.
Gal Tziperman Lotan and Travis Andersen of the Globe staff and correspondent Caroline Enos contributed to this report.
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