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Man killed in Dorchester shooting was a pastor in Haverhill, family says

Daniel Mayers, 33, was shot while in a car on Columbia Road late Monday afternoon, police said

Daniel Mayers, 33, was identified by police Thursday as the victim in a fatal shooting on Columbia Road in Dorchester earlier this week. Mayers was a church leader in Haverhill, his family said.Mayers

The victim in a fatal daytime shooting in Dorchester earlier this week was identified Thursday as a Haverhill pastor and former Boston Public Schools employee, who was remembered by his family as a beloved son, brother, and uncle.

Daniel Mayers, 33, the leader of Family of God church in Haverhill, was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead Monday after police responded to the area of 264 Columbia Road for a report of a ShotSpotter activation, according to the Boston Police Department and a statement by his family.

Officers found Mayers suffering gunshot wounds in a vehicle near 243 Columbia Road, police said. The area is about a half-mile from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, also on Columbia Road, where Mayers’s father, the Rev. Thomas W. O. Mayers, was rector for nearly 20 years, his family said in a statement.


“We are extremely devastated and this loss is unfathomable as we try to understand the details of this tragedy and find who took the life of someone who impacted so many others in nothing but the most positive ways,” his family said.

Police released Mayers’s name as Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox and Mayor Michelle Wu held a press conference about safety heading into the summer. Wu said Mayers was a “beloved uncle and son and someone who’s active in his church as a pastor, and longtime Boston Public Schools employee and public servant.”

No arrests have been reported, and Cox declined to answer questions about whether the shooting was random.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call the BPD’s homicide detectives at 617-343-4470 or make an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-494-TIPS.

“As a family, we are all hurting, and the lack of information that would help with the ongoing investigation leaves us with an even deeper sense of loss,” his family said in their statement. “If anyone in the public has information that may be helpful in finding the person who committed this heinous and senseless act, we plead with you to please come forward and assist the authorities in helping our family seek justice for Danny.”


Mayers worked for more than 10 years in “the Boston Public Schools Welcome Center, Transportation, and Special Education Departments,” his family said in their statement.

A spokesman for BPS confirmed Mayers was employed by the district.

Members of Family of God church voted Mayers as their pastor after their previous leader stepped down, said Theresa Matias, a member of the church who worked alongside Mayers.

Matias said Mayers helped her during a critical moment of her life. A single mother of two boys, Matias said she was working at a gas station when they first met.

“There was something about him that just radiated off of him, and it was the holy spirit,” she said. “He told me that I had potential and that he could see I was a hard worker. He gave me a place to call home. This church is my home.”

Matias said the church’s main mission is to help children.

“He did a lot for this community outside these church walls,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion during a phone interview on Thursday. “He helped a lot of single moms.”

Mayers’s family said he was “raised in the church” and “knew much about the importance and value of service, which he took on in many different ways.”


As a pastor, “his spiritual impact touched and changed the lives of those around him through his superior management skills to coordinate everything from prayer groups to setlists for music practice,” the statement said.

Mayers was also passionate about fitness and worked as a personal trainer, his family said.

“While he spent time training friends and clients, his presence was far from intimidating as he was characterized by his lightheartedness, sense of humor, and kindness,” his family’s statement said.

Sean Cotter of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Nick Stoico can be reached at Follow him @NickStoico.