Violence erupted in Roxbury early Thursday evening when two men were shot less than a mile apart in a one-hour span, one of them fatally near a school bus carrying children, police said.
“Preliminarily, [the shootings] don’t appear to be related,” said David Estrada, a spokesman for the Boston Police Department.
The first shooting occurred around 5:30 p.m. near the corner of Dearborn and Zeigler streets, when a man was fatally shot in the head, Police Commissioner William B. Evans told reporters at the scene.
“It looks like there was some type of fight between several people here,” Evans said.
A mini Boston Public Schools bus was in the crime scene near several evidence markers. Evans said it was unclear if any children on the bus had witnessed the violence.
“I certainly hope they didn’t,” he said. “But I think it’s brazen when you’re [shooting] out here on a busy street with a lot of young children riding home.” He said police contacted school officials to “seek out some trauma counseling if, heaven forbid, they did see anything.”
The Boston Public Schools said in a statement that three students from Harvard-Kent Elementary School and a driver were on board the bus at the time of the shooting.
School officials were “relieved to learn the students and the driver are OK. Crisis counselors will be available for the students tomorrow,” the statement said.
Police did not release any additional information about what prompted the shooting but said the victim appeared to be in his twenties. Authorities were reviewing video from surveillance cameras in the area and seeking witnesses, Evans said.
He urged anyone with information to contact police. “For the sake of the community, please come forward,” he said.
About an hour after the killing, another man was shot on Dunreath Street near the intersection with Aspen Street, police said.
He was taken to Boston Medical Center, Estrada said, but his age and condition were not available Thursday night.
Yvette Randall, 52, a Dunreath Street resident, said she was home when she heard several shots and then went outside to see a man, who appeared to be in his 40s, lying on the ground “in obvious pain.”
She said he told paramedics that he could not breathe, but he remained conscious as he was placed in an ambulance.
Back at Dearborn Street, where the other man was killed, a clerk at a liquor store across from the crime scene said investigators had retrieved surveillance footage from the business.
“This neighborhood is crazy,” said Ray Sanchez, 34, a clerk at Dearborn Liquors, adding that he did not see or hear the shooting.
Betty Herrera, 45, was standing by the Dearborn scene Thursday night and said she had heard one shot ring out earlier.
She said the killing was “very sad” and voiced concern for the children who had been on the bus. Police were seen escorting them to another school bus about a half-hour after the shooting.
“They must have seen it,” she said. “That’s a nightmare for them.”
Anyone with information about either shooting can contact detectives at 617-343-4470 or the department’s anonymous tip line at 800-494-TIPS.Travis Andersen can be reached at Travis.Andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe