Two of the four people arrested in connection to a shooting at a Caribbean celebration Saturday morning in Dorchester were armed with makeshift machine guns with extended ammunition clips, police said.
Gerald L. Vick Jr., 30, was allegedly carrying a 9 mm Glock pistol modified with a “sear switch” that makes the weapon fire repeatedly with one pull of the trigger, police said in a report.
On Monday, he was ordered held in Dorchester Municipal Court on multiple illegal gun possession charges, including possession of a machine gun, according to court records. He has not been charged with firing the weapon during the gunfight that broke out during the J’ouvert celebration, wounding eight people.
Vick, who pleaded not guilty, had been free on bail on another illegal gun case, records show.
A 17-year-old boy was also charged with illegal possession of a machine gun, which police described as a “ghost gun” modeled after a Glock 9 mm pistol.
“The firearm had no serial number and was loaded with one 9MM round in the chamber and twenty-six 9MM rounds in the magazine,” police wrote. The extended magazine could hold 31 rounds, police said.
The juvenile, whose name was not released because of his age, was arrested Saturday afternoon when police saw him sitting on a porch in the Franklin Field housing development. The teenager was carrying the weapon in a black leather bag he had draped across his body, according to police.
Like Vick, the teenager has not been charged in the shooting. He was expected to appear in Juvenile Court Monday on multiple firearm charges, police said.
At least 20 rounds were fired during the shooting, police said.
”The two groups [were] continually staring across Talbot Avenue at each other while ignoring the ongoing parade/festival. These males appeared to be taking specific notice of each other and talking amongst their own groups while pointing back and forth at the presumably opposing group,” police said in a report. “The shots indiscriminately tore through the crowd of hundreds of festival spectators and floats making their approach to Blue Hill Ave.”
Police said the first person to open fire was wearing light-colored denim pants and a black hooded sweatshirt, police said in the report, citing neighborhood surveillance video.
As gunfire broke out, people hid behind cars in a repair lot, including a man who had been shot in the leg. As he took cover, a police officer applied a tourniquet until an ambulance arrived to take him to a hospital, police said.
After reviewing surveillance video, police determined the wounded man had taken part in the shooting, according to the report.
“Detectives made the observation of the individual firing into the group, limping into the lot, and passing a firearm to an unidentified female who walks out the tow lot,” police wrote.
He was identified as Sebastian Monteiro Fernandez, 21, and was charged with firing a gun within 500 feet of a building and illegal firearms possession.
Police did not recover a gun from Fernandez, records show.
The fourth person arrested was Dwayne T. Francis Jr., 30. After the gunfire stopped, Francis ran across Talbot Avenue and confronted members of the opposing group before running from the area, police said. Moments later, he returned and was recognized by police as someone who may have played a role in the shooting.
Officers approached him and, after a brief struggle, discovered that Francis was carrying a 9 mm pistol, police said.
In court, a prosecutor said Francis was an instigator of the shooting, but Francis’s lawyer said his client had picked up a gun and was approached by police to hand over the weapon when he was arrested.
“Why would an armed gunman walk up to a police officer?” Rudolph Miller asked Judge Jonathan R. Tynes. “He is not a flight risk, not a threat to the community.”
Francis pleaded not guilty to illegal gun possession charges and was ordered held on $10,000 bail. He was ordered to wear a GPS tracker and remain under house arrest if he posts bail.
Miller said that Francis is of Jamaican descent and was at the Caribbean festival to celebrate. He said he has no criminal record in Massachusetts and is not affiliated with any gangs.
Miller said police recognized some people at the event with previous gun offenses, but Francis does not.
Eight adults, including Fernandez, ranging in age from 21 to 43, were wounded in the shooting. None of the injuries were life-threatening, police said.
“It should be noted that there were 100s of people at the parade who were forced to scatter due to the gunshots,” police wrote in the report.
On Monday, Police Commissioner Michael Cox said the number of guns on the streets is “out of control” and asked any witnesses to the shooting to help police in the investigation.