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Chilling video shows boy, 7, shot in Dorchester

Boy is improving as police search for assailant

Surveillance video shows a 7-year-old being shot in Dorchester
Surveillance video shows Divan Silva turns onto Bowdoin Street from Elba Terrace on his way to buy water at a corner store while riding on his cousin's bicycle. He is shot as he approaches Rodriguez Barbershop and falls off his bike.
Divan Silva smiled in his hospital room at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Divan Silva was back on his feet Tuesday, a 7-year-old wrapped in smiles as he played video games from his hospital bed accompanied by a new stuffed hedgehog he named Zonic.

But the image of the happy second-grader at Boston Children’s Hospital belied the chilling shooting that left Divan with a bullet wound in his buttock as he pedaled to a corner store in Dorchester to buy water about 4:15 p.m. Sunday. The shooting on Bowdoin Street was captured on a private video surveillance camera and obtained Tuesday by the Globe.

“It was very emotional to see my son like that,” said Divan’s mother, Dijanira DeAndrade, 28, who ran to the boy’s aid after hearing gunfire. “I thought I was going to lose my son.”


DeAndrade recounted in a telephone interview how she found her son bleeding on the sidewalk outside Rodriguez Barber Shop 2. The boy, who lives in Brockton, was visiting his grandmother when he was shot.

“He knew he was bleeding. He was touching the blood,” she said. “I kept telling him to stay awake, not to close his eyes. He stayed awake the whole time. . . . He stayed really strong for me.”

In the video, Divan is seen bicycling onto Bowdoin Street from Elba Terrace. As he approaches Rodriguez Barber Shop 2, he wobbles and lifts his legs. His bike comes to a stop on a step in front of the shop, and Divan rolls himself onto the sidewalk, where he stops in a seated position.

The boy shifts his weight onto his right side, sees the blood coming from his left buttock, and puts his left hand on the wound.

DeAndrade reached the boy a minute after he was hit, the time stamp on the video shows.

She said she was in her mother’s apartment when she heard four shots, ran to the kitchen, and looked out a window. Behind the apartment, DeAndrade said her boyfriend was escorting her 3-year-old son inside. She said she asked her boyfriend where Divan had gone and learned the boy had just left for the store on his bike.


“That’s when me and mom ran and found him there,” she said.

When DeAndrade reached her son, she tried to pick him up, but the boy could not stand on his own. She let him back down on the sidewalk and jumped up and down as she cried out. Her mother, Irlanda DePina, rushed to DeAndrade and Divan on the sidewalk.

“He was very brave. He wasn’t crying until the police came. . . . He was very afraid of all the people around him,” DeAndrade said. “He couldn’t move. I was holding him. He was just looking at me, and I was talking to him.”

Two minutes after DeAndrade found her son, two officers on motorcycles arrived and tended to Divan’s wound. Rescuers and other officers wearing street clothes arrived soon after. One of the motorcycle officers lifted the boy and took him from the sidewalk.

Divan was listed in good condition Tuesday at Children’s Hospital, according to a statement released by the hospital. He underwent surgery Sunday and practiced walking Monday and Tuesday, DeAndrade said. Divan can take a few steps with help, she said.

“It hurts a little,” DeAndrade said.

Divan’s appetite remains intact, his mother said. He ate rice and chicken, pizza, a sandwich, hot dog, and fries on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, he had eaten a breakfast sandwich and had a cheese pizza on the way. Divan may go home as early as Wednesday, she said.


“He’s doing great,” DeAndrade said. “He’s a very strong boy.”

Police Commissioner William B. Evans said he visited Divan and DeAndrade in the hospital, and promised them that officers would find the child’s assailant.

“I apologized that something like this would happen,” Evans said. “It’s sort of sad that I’m having this conversation with a 7-year-old boy and his mother.”

DeAndrade and Evans made separate pleas for anyone with information about the shooting to speak with officers.

Evans said not as many people have come forward as investigators had hoped. Given the number of people nearby when the shooting occurred, Evans described the response so far as “disappointing.”

“We need everyone to come forward with every little bit of information they have,” he said. “Don’t hold it to yourself. It does no one any good to stand by and allow a 7-year-old to be shot.”

Police are searching for a teenage suspect in the shooting, which also wounded a 20-year-old man whose head was grazed by a bullet.

Police have said witnesses described the shooter as a 14- to 18-year-old male wearing a red hoodie, white shorts, and white sneakers. He was described as heavy set and 5 feet 8 inches tall.

Evans said investigators have not determined a motive or who the shooter was targeting.


Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he and neighborhood residents remain deeply upset by the wounding of a child on a Boston street. During a visit to a Dorchester park Tuesday, he told reporters the city witnessed an uptick in shooting incidents over the weekend.

“People are upset. No one is happy with that,’’ Walsh said. “Our goal is to eliminate shootings in the city of Boston.’’

DeAndrade thanked the public for the outpouring of support. She said she wants the shooter to be brought to justice.

“I can’t wait for the police to catch him,” she said. “He could have taken my son’s life.”

Anyone with information on the shooting should call Dorchester district detectives at 617-343-4335. Anonymous tips can be called in to Boston Police on the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word TIP to 27463.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.