A young girl dressed in pink and walking alongside an adult woman ran for her life when a gunfight suddenly exploded on Shawmut Avenue in Roxbury on Wednesday evening.
A video captured by surveillance cameras installed at a store on the 600 block of Shawmut Avenue shows the moments before, during, and after multiple shots were exchanged by two people around 6:49 p.m.
There were no reports of injuries, according to police, but residents interviewed Friday spoke of how quickly an otherwise quiet evening in the neighborhood suddenly turned terrifying.
Reggie White, 59, said he was standing a short distance away from the shooting scene Wednesday when gunshots shattered the peaceful scene.
“The shots were really fast,” White said. “I ducked, just to be on the safe side, and then I ran in.”
White said he’s lived in Roxbury for 23 years.
”It happens all the time,” he said. “I think this makes it twice in two weeks, least from what I’ve seen.”
A woman, who didn’t give her name, stood outside her apartment on Friday and glanced toward the stores, clustered on one block, where a shooter first stopped and shot toward a group of men gathered a block away.
The woman said she heard a rapid succession of shots from her bedroom.
”I was scared,” she said. “I didn’t come out here the next day, I’ll say that.”
On the surveillance video, a person wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and pajama pants can be seen slowly making their way from the intersection at Lenox Street and Shawmut Avenue, sometimes ducking behind a parked vehicle or an edge of a building in an apparent attempt to prevent anyone from seeing them approach.
The person in the red sweatshirt walks past a child and a man wearing a backpack, stops in front of a liquor store and an adjacent pizza shop, pulls their right hand out of the sweatshirt, and opens fire in the direction of a group of people clustered on the sidewalk in front of Ramsay Park.
The assailant fires about five shots in close proximity to the head of a man who walked out of the pizza shop. The man grabs his head, in apparent pain from the discharge of the handgun so close to him. A second man presses his body as tightly as he can to the front of the building to avoid the gunfire.
Suddenly, a second person, this one wearing a brown hoodie, emerges onto Shawmut Avenue and begins firing at the man in the red sweatshirt — heedless of the girl and the adult, other pedestrians on Shawmut Avenue, and people sitting in their parked cars on the street.
In the video, the person in the red sweatshirt can be seen running toward Lenox Street, and without looking where they were shooting, fires over his shoulder toward the person in the brown sweatshirt, who fires again. The person in the brown sweatshirt runs toward Hammond Street.
The child and the woman run behind a double-parked car, open the rear passenger door, climb in, and are driven away, the video shows.
According to a Boston police report on the incident, two cars and the air conditioner of a private home were hit by bullets.No one inside that residence at the time was struck by gunfire.
Through May 21, there have been 41 shooting incidents in the city, down slightly from 43 over the same period last year, according to Boston police statistics. The total number of victims of the gun violence was 52, down from 55 last year, according to police.
There have been 17 homicides in Boston this year through May 21, compared with 13 murders at the same time last year. Police said that 13 of this year’s victims died from gunshot wounds. The number of gun arrests this year has declined to 185, compared with 223 at the same time last year, records show.
No arrests have been made in connection with the Wednesday gunfire.
Another man, who on Friday only gave his first name, Steve, said he was mowing the lawn of Shawmut Community Church of God, where he works as the groundskeeper. Suddenly, the shots rang out. Before he had the chance to react, the shooter sprinted past him before darting down another road.
”I didn’t run inside, I just stopped what I was doing,” Steve, 69, said. “But then he was running fast.”
Steve said he’s lived in Roxbury since he was 5 years old, and knows most people in his neighborhood. He’s worked at the church for two decades.
”It does happen a lot, but it doesn’t bother me because I expect it,” Steve said.
Joe Bell, 72, carried a bag of groceries as he walked out of a convenience store on Friday. He said violence is all too frequent in the area.
“It’s jeopardizing everything and everybody out here,” he said. “There are families.”