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Dorchester shooting brings back dark memories for some

Franchez Cruz, left, Elsa Parrilla, and Gammalier Parrilla, right, placed flowers at the site where Grisel Sanchez was shot July 28.Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

As Dorchester neighbors sat Wednesday and watched investigators comb the scene of a quadruple shooting that killed a high school student, Luz Sanchez looked on with a grim familiarity. Ten months ago, she lost daughter Grisel Sanchez to gunfire just blocks away.

Speaking at the home of another daughter, Luz Sanchez said she had rushed there as soon as she heard about the violence.

“I thought, ‘Oh, no,’ as soon as I heard about this shooting,” said Sanchez, 54. “I had to see if she was OK.”

Marlene Mena, 30, her surviving daughter, was not hurt, but she said she found the violence “hard to believe.”

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Grisel Sanchez, who would have turned 32 on Thursday, was shot to death on July 28 as she walked through nearby Puddingstone Park. Police have said she was an innocent bystander, and the death of the young mother of three outraged people around the city.

On Wednesday, another high-profile instance of gun violence hit the neighborhood, again drawing urgent calls for the public to help find a killer. Mayor Martin J. Walsh came to the scene to express his anger, and Police Commissioner William B. Evans said such incidents are intolerable.

Authorities believe the victim of the shooting, who attended the Jeremiah Burke High School near the shooting scene, was 17 years old.

“When a young kid . . . gets shot in the daytime, we need the public to be outraged,” Evans said.

A 67-year-old woman was also shot, police said, along with two other teens. Those victims are expected to survive.

Mena, who lives in an apartment building across from the Burke, said the neighborhood is often quiet.

“There are a lot of kids out during the day,” she said. “There is usually a patrol car on the street, when school lets out.”

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As police canvassed the neighborhood for the killer Wednesday, Luz Sanchez noted that investigators are still trying to find whoever took the life of her daughter, a woman remembered as kind mother who always challenged her children to do their best.

“They still don’t know what happened to her,” Luz Sanchez said.


Kathy McCabe can be reached at Katherine.McCabe@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe.


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.