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Mom, 19, shot to death in New Bedford after grocery run

NEW BEDFORD — A 19-year-old woman, who was studying to become an interpreter and spoke multiple languages, was shot to death Sunday night outside the New Bedford apartment she shared with her mother and 2-year-old daughter as she was returning home with groceries.

A neighbor said that Sabrina DaSilva had stepped out to pick up a few items, including juice for her daughter. But she never made it home. Shortly after 10 p.m., DaSilva was shot multiple times in the parking lot of the Verdean Gardens building on Bedford Street, where she lived, according to the Bristol County district attorney’s office.


“And then everything just dropped right there,” a neighbor and family friend, Carol Almeida, said Monday, speaking near the spot where DaSilva was found.

The 19-year-old was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, the district attorney’s office said.

No arrests had been made as of Monday evening, and a spokesman for the district attorney’s office said he could not comment on possible suspects.

Sabrina DaSilva sought to be an interpreter.

Almeida said she heard at least four gun shots Sunday night and had no idea who would want to kill the “bubbly, happy-go-lucky, beautiful, pretty girl.” “I don’t know who’d want to do that,” she said. “Her mom’s just devastated.”

DaSilva’s family could not be reached on Monday, but neighbors described her as a friendly though reserved neighbor who they believed was attending college.

“She was a good little kid,” said John Duarte, 48, who also lives in the four-story brick apartment building.

He said he heard several bangs that sounded like fireworks at the time of the shooting.

Then, Duarte said, he went outside and “I just saw the lady lying there.”

Another man who lives in the apartment complex, Dennis Soares, 38, said he regularly spoke to DaSilva in passing.


“She’s a nice lady,” he said. “I see her doing laundry everyday downstairs. I’d say hi. She don’t bother nobody.”

Almeida said DaSilva’s daughter was “her little mini-her.”

“That girl was beautiful,” she said.

Another neighbor, who said she has lived in the neighborhood all her life and asked not to be named, said that when she stepped outside to see what was going on, she saw DaSilva’s mother asking police if it was her daughter who had been shot.

The neighbor described the apartment building as safe and said that it has security cameras and a system that requires visitors to be buzzed in. The woman said she was told the building has security guards on weekends, though she has not seen them.

“I grew up in this neighborhood and I think it is [safe],” the neighbor said. “I never feel afraid when I pull into the parking lot, I never feel afraid in my neighborhood.”

Two neighbors who live around the corner, Shawn-Marie Michael, 44, and her boyfriend, Derrick Costa, 50, were walking their dog by the crime scene Monday evening.

They said they were shaken by the news of the shooting.

“We walk the neighborhood in the dark, I always feel safe,” Michael said. “It’s absolutely crazy. My heart breaks.”

Costa added that the neighborhood has made strides in the last decade.

“Ten years ago, this was a rough area,” he said. “It’s cleaned up quite a bit.”

Globe correspondent Dylan McGuinness contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Aimee Ortiz can be reached ataimee.ortiz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @aimee_ortiz.