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One man killed in city shooting

A police officer stood watch at the door where there was an early morning gathering on Humboldt Avenue on Monday. There were reports of arguing and shots outside soon after.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

A 3 a.m. barrage of gunfire that left one man dead sparked panic on Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury on Monday and sent residents scrambling for cover in the middle of the night.

“It must have been like 20 shots,” said Gene Roberts, who heard the shots outside his apartment window near the corner of Humboldt Avenue and Munroe Street, where he has lived for a decade.

Authorities said another man sustained minor injuries in the violent flurry, which broke out after a late-night gathering at an apartment complex and spilled onto the street.

Police have not identified the man who was killed, but a law enforcement official briefed on the case said he was 28 years old. No arrests have been made, police said.

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Around 2:30 a.m., a resident of the apartment complex returned home with a group of people, neighbors said. An argument quickly ensued, then moved outside.

Just after 3 a.m., gunshots broke out.

“It was really loud,” said Roberts’ wife, Donna. “But I didn’t get up right away because when I hear shots, I never want to be by the window.”

Muriel Carter, who has lived on Humboldt Avenue for 20 years, said she also stayed away from her windows until the gunfire ended.

“It was just one after another, nonstop,” Carter said. “I didn’t hear any voices. It just kept going.”

Minutes later, police opened the passenger door of a car parked nearby and found the gunshot victim, Carter said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Authorities said a second man, in his early 20s, was shot in the ankle. Three guns were recovered at the scene, police said.

“You could see the face and all the blood on the face,” Carter said of the victim, whose body remained in the car for hours after the shooting. “It was sad.”

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It was the sixth homicide in Boston this year, the same total from this date last year, a police spokeswoman said.

Unlike his wife, Gene Roberts looked out his window as the shots rang out and saw a man sprinting away from the scene before he sped away in a car. Jahira Oliver, a 21-year-old who lives in the apartment building, said she and her cousin also looked out their window immediately after the gunfire and saw a hooded man running away.

Carter, their neighbor, said she found fresh footprints in the snow pointing in the same direction.

“A guy was running toward the corner and shooting,” Oliver said. “But I just keep to myself.”

Oliver’s mother, Corinna, said she worries about letting her children chat with neighbors because it’s impossible to know what they might be involved in.

“This is why I keep my kids in the house,” she said.

The apartment where the gathering took place has long been a nuisance for neighbors, she added.

“They’re yelling and screaming all the time,” she said.

Neighbors recalled that it has only been a month since a woman and her 5-month-old daughter were hit by a car on Humboldt Avenue. The mother was seriously injured, and the child died the next day.

“To have that happen? And now this? I mean, what’s going on?” Carter asked.

Bazezew Lake, a neighbor who moved to Humboldt Avenue one month ago, said that while both incidents were tragic, he didn’t worry about the neighborhood’s long-term safety. Others felt the same.

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“The people that live here, we’re a relatively safe bunch,” Donna Roberts said.

Later, her husband pulled a fresh shell casing from his pocket that he found while shoveling snow. She remained unbothered. But Gene Roberts said he wants to move.


John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Astead W. Herndon can be reached at astead.herndon@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @AsteadWH.