CAMBRIDGE — Louis Dieuseul was returning home early Saturday from his housekeeping job at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge when police officers descended onto his street.
A man had been shot outside an apartment building on Harvard Street at about 12:16 a.m., crumpling to the ground next to a row of bricks stacked on pallets. Dieuseul, 63, said a woman who was with the mortally wounded man yelled, “Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me!”
Authorities said the victim was 49-year-old Anthony Clay, a married father of two who lived in Cambridge. He was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan.
During a news conference Saturday evening at the Cambridge Police Department, Ryan said investigators do not believe the shooting was random.
Before the slaying, Ryan said, Clay had been eating and drinking while visiting friends in the Harvard Street housing development. Gunfire struck Clay as he walked on the sidewalk, and he suffered a single gunshot wound, she said.
“We are here this evening asking for the public’s help,” Ryan said. “We believe, given the beautiful weather, that there may have been other folks who were out or who may have been by a window or something in the building, [and] may have seen something else outside.”
She encouraged witnesses to contact Cambridge police.
Shortly after the shooting, Dieuseul said a cruiser pulled up alongside the spot where Clay fell and police rushed to assist him. More officers, firefighters, and an ambulance followed, he said.
“I feel sorry for him,” Dieuseul said. “There was a lot of blood. They tried to help him. They did the best they could.”
Dieuseul said the man could not speak to the rescuers.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s very bad,” he said.
One resident, who declined to give her name, said she heard two gunshots. The sound frightened her daughters, who are 20 and 22 years old.
Another resident, Mohammad Rahman, said he initially thought fireworks were going off outside his apartment. Then officers came to his door and told him there had been a shooting, Rahman said.
“This area is no good,” said Rahman, who lives on Harvard Street with his wife, Husneara. “At the end of the day, we’re scared.”
The fatal shooting took place across from the Greene-Rose Heritage Park in The Port neighborhood. A detective walked through the area Saturday, speaking with residents and asking them to contact police with information.
Officers plan to meet with residents about the violence Tuesday evening at Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Inc. on Cherry Street, said Christina Alexis, the organization’s executive director.
“They’ll be able to hear about the investigation,” Alexis said.
She said the neighborhood’s new street worker is also expected to attend the meeting.
Prior to Saturday’s violence, there had been four other shootings in The Port since January, Alexis said. None of the previous shootings were deadly.
Clay’s aunt, Catherine “KB” Brown, 52, said her nephew was more like a brother to her because they were so close in age. She said they grew up in different apartments in a two-family house on Western Avenue in Cambridge.
When Brown gave birth to twin boys, she said she chose Clay to be their godfather.
“I’m going to really, truly miss my nephew,” Brown said in a telephone interview.
She said one of her sons told her Clay had been killed. He leaves an adult daughter and a young son, Brown said.
“Who would do something like that to a person?” she asked.