Man slain in Boston; 11th homicide of the year

A man believed to be in his 20s was fatally shot Thursday night in Mattapan, becoming the city’s 11th homicide victim this year, police said.

The shooting occurred near 196 Itasca St. at about 11:30 p.m., Boston police said Friday. The man was shot several times and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities did not identify the victim or provide any information about a possible suspect or motive. No arrests have been made.


“To observe something like that, it’s kind of mind-
bending,” said William Jackson, 70, who has lived on the street for more than 30 years. He said he did not witness the shooting but heard gunfire as he was sitting in his den.

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“I mean, pop pop pop pop pop,” Jackson said.

He said a neighbor called him soon afterward and told him that a person was lying dead in the street, so he went outside and saw the man’s body. Officers instructed him to stay in his front yard behind his fence.

“The body laid there for so long,” Jackson said. “Even now, I have no idea who he was or the age or anything.”

The only apparent remnant of the crime scene Friday afternoon was a shred of yellow police tape hanging from a neighbor’s gate. Otherwise, the block of well-kept homes was quiet, save for the occasional passing car.


Another neighbor, Fanfan Dufrene, 55, said he had picked up his wife from work when police stopped him from pulling into their driveway shortly before midnight, because their residence fell within the crime scene perimeter, which included about a dozen police vehicles.

Dufrene said he and his wife waited until about 2:50 a.m. to get into their home while investigators processed the shooting scene.

“It’s sad to hear that,” Dufrene said of the killing. “I’m a parent, too.”

The man’s slaying was the 11th homicide of the year, compared to five at this time last year, a police spokesman said.

Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call homicide detectives at 617-343-4470 or the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 800-494-TIPS. Members of the public can also send confidential tips by texting the word TIP to 27463.


“The Boston Police Homicide Unit is actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident,” said a department statement.

Like other neighbors on Itasca Street, a man who would only give his first name, Erol, said the block is generally quiet. He said he “saw all the cops on the street” Thursday night, and officers told him that a man had been killed and asked if he had seen anything. He said he had not.

Jackson, the neighbor who heard gunfire from his den, said he has never experienced any problems on the street.

“This neighborhood is very quiet,” he said. “We look out for each other, and we want to keep it that way.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@