Boston saw its first homicide of the year in Roxbury Thursday in a late-night burst of gunfire, that left a 24-year-old man shot to death and three people wounded while they sat in a car on Harrishof Street, according to Boston Police.

The man died at the scene. Police have not named him.

A 24-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries and on Friday remained in critical condition; two men aged 22 and 20 were wounded but expected to survive, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the case.

The official said the attack did not appear to be random.


“They appeared to be targeted. It did not appear to be a random act of violence,” the official said. No arrests have been made.

Residents said they heard between five and 10 shots, close together, at around 10:45 p.m.

“It was like a quick thing, one, two, three,” said Judy Pagan, who lives down the street. She looked out her window, she said, and saw a man running down the street, away from a car, where she said she could see two men tending to a third wounded man. She said she could hear them saying they needed to get to a hospital.

Boston Police Officer James Kenneally said the victims drove their car away from Harrishof Street. A law enforcement official briefed on the case said the car ended up at Walnut Avenue and Dale Street a few blocks away. Residents there said they saw police activity surrounding a car at a bus stop a little after 10:45 p.m.

“There are too many killings out here, they need to stop,” said Nita Perry, who lives down the street and was waiting with her young daughter for a bus Friday afternoon. “It’s getting very close to home.”

The viciousness of the crime raised concerns among some community leaders that it could trigger set off attempts at revenge.


“When it’s that brutal, and it’s that ruthless, my fear is that retaliation may come as a result,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, associate pastor at the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury. “That it’s happening so early in the year, it’s scary and disheartening.”

Crimes of this magnitude require immediate intervention by community workers, he said, to head off any possible retaliatory violence.

Residents of Harrishof Street said they were afraid.

“We’re scared, we don’t even want to live on this street anymore,” said one woman, as she stood in her doorway looking toward the spot where the shooting happened. Snow fallen over the blood was stained bright red on the sidewalk, and shattered glass lay in the street.

“Four people shot, what do we say? This is big. This has to draw our attention,” said Emmett Folgert, executive director of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative. “An event like this makes those of us who have direct contact with young people as mentors, as teachers, it requires us to double down, to have conversations about the value of human life. And we should never underestimate the influence we can have.”

Boston had 52 homicides in 2014.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.