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Man dies in Dorchester stabbing

Boston police are investigating the slaying of a man who was stabbed in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner neighborhood hours before dawn on Sunday.

Officers responded to a report of a person stabbed near 7 Cushing Ave. around 3 a.m., according to a statement from Boston police. They found a man in his 20s suffering from life-threatening stab wounds. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died, police said.

The victim has not yet been identified and the incident remains under investigation.

Sunday’s slaying marked the 10th homicide of the year in Boston, said Officer Kim Tavares, a department spokeswoman.

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Jonathan Handy, owner of Handy’s Cafe on nearby Columbia Road, said police walked into his shop around 3:15 a.m. Sunday to ask if he had seen any commotion across the road, in the direction of Cushing Avenue.

Handy’s shop is open Saturday nights until 3 a.m., but he said he hadn’t noticed any disturbance in the square before police questioned him. He saw police cars with their blue lights flashing but he hadn’t heard any gunshots, so he didn’t think much of it initially, he said.

“We were shocked” to hear of the slaying, he said Sunday afternoon.

Handy found the violence to be concerning. He said he wanted his customers to feel safe walking to and from his eatery late at night, and said he was troubled whenever anyone from the community suffers violence.

Handy, who opened his shop 11 months ago, referenced Batman’s hometown when talking about crime in the neighborhood

“I call it Gotham,” said Handy. “After 12 o’clock, it turns into Gotham.”

Authorities, he said, didn’t offer him any details about the stabbing.

“Anything’s possible,” he said matter-of-factly.

Police shut down Columbia Road, a major thoroughfare in Dorchester, to through traffic while they responded to the scene early Sunday, said Handy.

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The crime scene tape was gone by early Sunday afternoon, and people in the neighborhood were left with more questions than answers as details about the stabbing were scarce.

Police did not indicate what immediately preceded the stabbing and authorities did not announce any arrests in connection with the slaying.

A few doors down from Handy’s shop, at Upham’s House of Pizza, co-owner Dimetra Wilkins said she wouldn’t be surprised if she knew the victim. She has been working at the pizza shop since 1999, and knows most of the neighborhood’s youths, she said. Her business closed at 1 a.m. Sunday, so none of her employees saw the police response.

“It’s really sad,” she said, adding, “I hope it wasn’t over something stupid.”

Tony Rosa has lived on Cushing Avenue for 22 years. Rosa, a father of three who works as a ride-hailing service driver, said the street is typically quiet. He couldn’t recall a single stabbing or shooting on his block, he said. Rosa worked overnight, and when he came home Sunday morning, hours after police responded to the stabbing, he said he didn’t notice anything amiss.

“It happens everywhere . . . but this street?” he asked Sunday afternoon. “I don’t see gangs or anything like that on this street.”

Nestor Munoz, who lives in the neighborhood, was less incredulous. Like Rosa, he was away from the neighborhood when the stabbing occurred, working a double shift at his job at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He hadn’t hear of the violence until Sunday afternoon.

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“I’m not surprised,” he said on his porch amid a snow flurry.

The three-story powder blue apartment building at 7 Cushing Ave., near where police say the stabbing happened, is located next to a back entrance to the historic Strand Theatre.

Matthew Breton, technical director for the Strand, said he was shocked to hear about the violence that occurred at most a few yards away from where he was loading equipment into the theater Sunday afternoon.

He described the neighborhood as quiet. The theater hosted an a cappella show on Saturday night, but that event got out at 11 p.m., hours before the stabbing, he said.

“I’m saddened to hear about this,” he said Sunday afternoon.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact the department’s Homicide Unit.


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny_McDonald. Laney Ruckstuhl can be reached at laney.ruckstuhl@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @laneyruckstuhl.