Neighbors, officials stunned by shooting of Mattapan boy

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans spoke at the scene of the fatal shooting as Mayor Martin Walsh (right) looked on.
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans spoke at the scene of the fatal shooting as Mayor Martin Walsh (right) looked on.

The fatal shooting today of a 9-year-old Mattapan boy by his older brother shocked neighbors and lawmakers, some of whom said the incident should strengthen efforts to get rid of guns in Boston’s neighborhoods.

Robert Johnson, 64, said he has lived in Mattapan, near the shooting on Morton Street, for more than 20 years.

“That’s a damn shame,’’ Johnson said of the boy’s death. “Who is going to be accountable?”


Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said a third sibling was inside the home at the time of the shooting, while the mother of all three children was “nearby.’’ No charges have been filed in the case.

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Ebony Rhodes, a 20-year-old neighbor, said the house where the still-unidentified boy was killed is known for loud parties and, after a party last year, there was a shooting.

Police said they have visited the home in the past after loud parties, including last year’s shooting.

“That’s the second shooting that has happened here,’’ said Rhodes. “That’s crazy. It’s shocking.”

Her boyfriend, who declined to be identified, added, “This is one of the most dangerous spots in Boston, when you talk about Morton Street.”


A neighbor who identified herself only as Elizabeth said she was in her back bedroom watching “Jerry Springer” when she heard a woman wailing outside. She ran to her second-floor front porch and saw swarms of police cars outside.

“It’s just sad,’’ said Elizabeth, who lives next door to the victim’s family. “They should have been in school instead of home playing with guns.”

Jason Milton, a 24-year-old young father who also lives next door, said that when he heard of the shooting, he thought of his own family.

“I have a son myself who is 2, and I have a nephew who is 12,’’ Milton said. “So it made me think about them.”

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said, “My heart goes out to the family. I’m calling for the community to step up to the plate and report these guns. Parents, siblings — we need to get these guns off the street. The police can’t go to everyone’s homes and search them.”


Other political leaders also stopped by Morton Street following the incident.

State Representative Gloria Fox, who represents Roxbury, came by the home with a grief counselor, saying the tragedy cuts across the district and exemplifies the need for stricter measures to crack down on guns in the hands of young people.

“I don’t know where that gun came from, but it should not have been in that young boy’s hands,’’ she said. “We’ve got to stop the trafficking of guns into our neighborhoods.”

State Representative Russell Holmes, who lives near the crime scene, pointed to the quadruple slaying on nearby Woolson Street in 2010 as an example of why new legislation on cracking down on gun trafficking is so critical.

“We don’t know if this was an illegal gun,’’ said Holmes, standing in front of the crime scene. “That will be the most important issue.”

Meghan E. Irons can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.