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‘I was just trying to save my life’: Four wounded in weekend shootings in Boston

A woman, two men shot on Hancock Street Sunday morning; one man wounded on Erie Street Saturday night, police said

Boston police on Sunday investigate at the scene of an early morning triple shooting at 299 Hancock St., in Dorchester.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Four people were shot during a violent weekend in Boston, with a man left injured in a Saturday night shooting and a woman and two men hit in a triple shooting Sunday morning, officials said.

The turmoil left some residents worried about their safety, while advocates renewed calls for immediate action to stanch the bloodshed.

The two men and the woman were shot shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday on Hancock Street in Dorchester, according to Boston police.

One of the men was in critical but stable condition Sunday evening, while the other two victims suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to Sergeant Detective John Boyle, a police spokesperson.

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The triple shooting came after gunfire rang out on Erie Street in Dorchester around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, leaving one man in critical condition, police said, but his condition was upgraded to stable Sunday.

No arrests have been made in any of the shootings, Boyle said.

Mateo Godoy, 23, who lives near the Hancock Street shooting scene, said he heard three shots Sunday morning. He worries about growing violence in the city.

“What I’m most concerned about is me, or any of my neighbors or my roommates, walking and potentially getting hit with a stray bullet,” Godoy said as he was out for a walk Sunday morning.

Boston police investigate after an early-morning triple shooting on Hancock Street in Dorchester. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The shootings erupted just days after a barber, Herman Maxwell Hylton, was gunned down inside his Washington Street shop in Dorchester. The shooting of Hylton on Wednesday evening marked Boston’s 34th homicide of the year — and the seventh this month.

The Rev. Kevin Peterson, who has called on city leaders to announce a state of emergency in the city, said the recent violence in Boston’s Black community “is horrific and has shocked residents in ways that have not been experienced in decades.”

“The shocking murders of teenage boys and young Black mothers have ripped the heart out of the people who live here,” Peterson said in a statement to the Globe on Sunday.

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Peterson is holding a meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Gilbert Albert Community Center for people to come together and help create a community-based safety plan for the Black community.

“We believe that if local government will not help us stop the violence, then we will try to address the problem ourselves. We must police ourselves, if there are not other alternatives,” he said.

Mayor Michelle Wu, in a statement Sunday night, said: “We’re coordinating every resource from law enforcement, street outreach, and community partners to target interventions and get guns off the streets. We’ll continue to focus on violence prevention with the full weight of all city departments and community partnerships.”

Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden called for prevention plans to target “the desire to own and use illegal guns” in a statement Sunday night.

“This recent spate of shootings is tragic, frightening and leaves us all with heavy hearts. ... The unrestrained use of illegal guns is driving this devastating violence,” Hayden said.

Ruth Zakarin, executive director of Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, said her organization is concerned by the trauma caused by the seven fatal shootings in Boston in October.

She would like to see investments made in trauma response, outreach, and the creation of safe spaces for youth and young adults, she said. The economic bill being considered by the state Legislature includes funding for gun violence prevention and victim services, she noted.

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“The continued violence further demonstrates the critical need for such funding,” she said in a statement to the Globe.

Late Sunday morning at the scene of the Hancock Street shootings, police officers could be seen talking to people in the neighborhood. A parking lot next to the building at 299 Hancock St. was blocked with police tape, as an officer stood watch.

The front door to La Parrilla Restaurant, which is housed in the three-story building, was also cordoned off by police tape, and officers could be seen entering the restaurant. Cards with contact information from the city’s Neighborhood Trauma Team Network were left on cars and tucked into fences in front of homes.

Cards from the Neighborhood Trauma Team were left at homes and on cars in the Hancock Street area. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

A man and woman who said they were at a party Sunday morning in the building at 299 Hancock St. recalled hearing multiple shots ring out.

In separate interviews, both described a panicked scene as partygoers ran from the building.

The 24-year-old woman and 29-year-old man asked that they not be identified out of concern for their safety.

The woman said she was in the bathroom when she heard three or four gunshots.

“To be honest, I just ran,” she said. “It was crazy. ... I was just trying to save my life.”

The man said he heard at least three shots. As people ran, he saw a wounded man lying on the ground, he said. He stopped and held the man’s hand, and tapped his cheeks to keep him conscious.

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“It was an instinct ... don’t let him go to sleep,” the man said. “Keep him up.”

Paramedics arrived after 10 to 15 minutes, he said.

“Today, I realized how close that was,” he said.

He voiced anger over the violence. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked.

A 40-year-old neighbor, who also asked that his name not be used, said he was concerned about his family. Lawmakers, he said, must toughen gun control laws.

“I’m really worried about the safety of this city, and especially, for my family,” the man said.

Advocates Sunday said the shootings showed that a broad response is needed to combat gun violence — while keeping the focus on communities that have been most affected.

The Rev. Miniard Culpepper said halting the violence requires an “all-hands-on-deck” approach, including residents, faith leaders, advocates, the mayor’s office, and police.

“It takes all of Boston, because it has a dramatic impact on all of us,” Culpepper said in a phone interview.

The city should establish an office that focuses on reducing youth violence, and draw upon other agencies, such as the police and the Boston Public Health Commission, he said.

There also must be an effort to address systemic economic issues.

Many young Black men “have been excluded from much of the prosperity in the city of Boston,” he said. “I’d say a coordinated, citywide effort [is needed] to address much of what these young Black men are faced with on a day-to-day basis.”

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John Rosenthal, cofounder of Stop Handgun Violence, said the state’s gun control laws have been effective in reducing gun deaths. But guns can be acquired in other states where the rules are less stringent.

“We can’t do it alone,” he said. “We’re not an island, and we’re surrounded by states with no background check requirement for anybody with a beef who wants to hurt somebody or themselves.”

He also said economic justice plays a role.

“If you live in Roxbury, Mattapan, [or] Dorchester, it is easier to find a gun than find a job,” he said. “And that is the case across America in our poorest neighborhoods. ... There is a relationship between economic justice, crime reduction, and lower gun crime.”

A Boston police sergeant walks across the street from the scene of an early-morning triple shooting at 299 Hancock St. in Dorchester. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff



John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.