Three young men believed to be in their late teens were shot, one of them fatally, in Mission Hill, just as hundreds of youths poured out of a community center basketball game Wednesday night, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said.
The violence happened shortly after 7:45 p.m. near the Tobin Community Center on Tremont Street, located a few blocks from the Roxbury Crossing MBTA station, said Officer James Kenneally, a department spokesman.
One of the victims was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center. The other two victims are in critical or serious conditions, Evans said, speaking to reporters at the scene.
Police had responded to a report of a disturbance at 7:47 p.m. at the community center. Officers were outside Tobin on Tremont Street when they heard multiple shots fired less than a block away, he said.
A basketball game was underway at the city-run center, Boston police said. It was not immediately clear which schools were playing. About 200 youths poured out of the facility during the incident and in its immediate aftermath, Evans said.
“Clearly it’s a sad day when we lose a young kid to violence and we have two other young victims suffering from gunshot wounds and hopefully, we’re all praying that they make it,” he said.
Evans, during a Wednesday night press conference near the scene, declined to say if any guns were found at the scene. K-9 units were combing the area and police were checking surveillance cameras, he said.
It was unclear if a fight or argument immediately preceded the shooting, and police planned to work with the staff of the community center to determine if an incident at the basketball game in the community center was the genesis of the violence, said Evans.
Evans said he did not know if the violence was gang-related.
“I’m sure there was plenty of kids who might have seen something here,” said Evans. “We need them to step forward because we always worry about retaliation.”
No one was in custody as of late Wednesday.
The victims from the shooting were found outside the community center on Tremont Street, on Parker Street, and on Sewall Street.
The shootings prompted Evans to criticize a vote by Congress Wednesday to pass a bill allowing people to carry concealed guns across state lines.
“There are way too many guns out there right now... To loosen gun laws is the most ridiculous thing we could do... It’s a sad day when we lose a young kid to violence.”
Laurie Coffin, a 26-year-old student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, smoked a cigarette on the stoop of an apartment building a few blocks from where the street was cordoned off with yellow caution tape.
She called the triple shooting “scary.”
“I’m really concerned,” she said. “I’ve sent out weird mom texts to all my friends to make sure they’re OK.”
Patrice Phillips, a 29-year-old who works as a real estate agent in the area, was also concerned.
“How do these kids have guns?” she asked. “And why do they have guns? What is being done about that?”