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Dorchester neighbors denounce shooting of 5 people, including 15-year-old girl: ‘This has to stop’

The Sunday night shooting occurred in the courtyard of a Dorchester housing development behind 80 Ames Street.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The day after five people, including two children, were shot at a housing development in Dorchester, residents denounced the violence that turned a late-summer Sunday cookout into a crime scene.

”Kids can’t even be outside having fun,” said Antwon Fields, who lives at the Franklin Field complex, where the shootings happened shortly after 8:30 p.m. ”This has got to stop. It’s pointless.”

A 15-year-old girl was seriously injured in the shootings, according to authorities. Fields said the victim often plays with his children.

“I watched that girl grow up,” Fields said in a somber voice Monday. He described her as a sweet, fun, and bright girl who loves her family.


Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox said officers who responded to a ShotSpotter alert found five people— three adults and two juveniles — with gunshot wounds. Authorities did not release their names. According to police transmissions recorded by Broadcastify, the second child is an 11-year-old boy.

Police found 15 spent shell casings at the scene near 50 Ames St., according to officials and Broadcastify recordings of the shooting.

On Monday, police said the teenage girl was suffering from life threatening injuries, and the other victims had non-life-threatening injuries.

Two women who work with a teen program in the public housing development said they had known the girl since she was a small child. One of the women, Juana, said the girl is “everything you hope your child is.”

“She runs up to everyone to give them a hug,” she said. “We’re just praying for her.”

Boston police and Suffolk District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden’s office said they were searching for those responsible for the violence and appealed to the public for help.

“Somebody in the community knows some facts that would help investigators bring the people responsible for this terrible shooting to justice,” Hayden spokesman James Borghesani said Monday. “That cooperation would go along way in helping us address this terrible incident.”


The shootings were discussed Monday at a city council hearing, where members also noted the illegal flow of guns in Boston.

“Last night was a tough night,” councilor Erin Murphy said.

Last year, police recovered more than 900 guns. Citing the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, councilors have said that only 10 percent of the traced firearms recovered at crime scenes were purchased in Massachusetts, while the rest were brought here from 18 other states.

In a letter to school leaders, Mary Skipper, superintendent of the city’s public schools, said many students were impacted by the shootings and that educators should be ready to support them.

”Unfortunately in recent weeks, violence has been a reality for too many of our young people across the city,” she wrote. “While there is still a lot of information that we do not know, it is imperative that our staff has access to resources that will enable them to support the immediate needs of students and families.”

On Sunday, Mayor Michelle Wu condemned the violence.

“Families with young ones and teenagers, preteens, should be getting a good night’s sleep to go to school tomorrow, and two of them are in the hospital now,” Wu said. “I’m angry, I am upset as a mom, as someone who has been working with all of our teams to make sure we can do everything possible to create opportunities in our city.”


Near the shooting scene, members of the city’s trauma response team left fliers on cars in the area Sunday night.

“These are the evenings where it just reminds me we can’t move fast enough in working to make sure that all of our young people have what they need, that we’re getting guns off the streets, and that we’re being very clear that safety comes first in Boston, and that has to be in every single part of our city,” Wu said. ”Not to see repeated and concentrated incidences of violence affecting certain parts of our neighborhoods.”

Neighbors said they were worn down by the violence and distraught that the teenager was seriously injured.

On Monday, a resident, who declined to give his name, said he walked his small black dog past the courtyard cookout shortly before 8:30 p.m. Ten minutes later, he was sitting on his couch when he heard some loud noises. He brushed it off as firecrackers until he saw the breaking news of a shooting in his neighborhood.

”Where am I going to go?” he asked. “This is everywhere.”

Another resident called the shooting “a sad situation.”

“Especially to have kids involved,” the person said.

The shooting on Sunday was the second shooting in Boston involving multiple victims since Aug. 26, when eight people were shot and wounded during the J’Ouvert celebration in Dorchester. Four people have pleaded not guilty in connection with the shootings.

Overall, the number of shootings — both fatal and non-fatal — has declined each year since 2020, according to police data. This year, there were 117 shootings through Sept. 4, police said.


Danny McDonald and Sean Cotter of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Nick Stoico contributed to this report.

John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him @JREbosglobe. Talia Lissauer can be reached at Follow her on Instgram @_ttphotos. Sean Cotter can be reached at him @cotterreporter.