Easter weekend began tragically on a Dorchester street Friday morning, when a 35-year-old man was shot to death in what Boston police Commissioner William B. Evans described as a “pretty brazen” attack.
The slaying on Wayland Street occurred shortly after 9 a.m. “on what’s supposed to be a real holy day, Good Friday, which is troubling,” Evans told reporters at the scene.
He said the victim, whose name was withheld pending family notification, collapsed near a surveillance camera on Wayland Street, but it wasn’t clear if any cameras captured the actual shooting.
Tso Le, 79, a Wayland Street resident, said he heard the shots and saw the victim sprint past him.
“He [ran] so fast, but he fell right here,” Le said, motioning to the area where the slain man fell. “Then I called 911.”
Le said he didn’t see the shooting or anyone else fleeing the area. The shots, he said, made “a racket, like a firework.”
But the din was a burst of gunfire that shattered the early-morning calm, and the victim was shot in the chest, according to police. He was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center.
Evans said another man wearing a red sweatshirt was seen fleeing the area, and a third male turned up at a nearby gas station minutes after the fatal shooting with a “minor” gunshot wound to the leg.
Investigators were trying to determine if the second shooting was related to the murder, according to Evans. He spoke to reporters near a senior housing complex within walking distance of the crime scene.
“I feel bad for the elderly and a lot of the neighbors who are all good people down here,” Evans said. “And they have to live in a neighborhood where a 35-year-old gets shot at 9 o’clock in the morning.”
One resident of the housing complex said she was watching television in her apartment when the shots rang out.
“Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. “And I’m like ‘OK, were those firecrackers? I’ll wait five minutes and if I don’t hear sirens, then it’s firecrackers.’ I heard sirens.”
She said Evans arrived soon afterward. The woman also lamented the violence and drug activity that she said occurs in the area.
“It’s got to stop,” she said.
Evans said the attack was “clearly” targeted, and the motive was under investigation.
“We’re hoping the cameras help us,” he said, adding that witnesses are strongly urged to contact police.
“We always worry about retaliation,” Evans said. “If we don’t get this shooter then someone’s going to come back at him.”
He also issued a call for peace during the remainder of the holiday weekend.
“Let’s hope that this is the end of it for the weekend,” Evans said.
Authorities said the fatal shooting was the 11th homicide in Boston this year, compared with six at this time in 2017.
Anyone with information about the case can call the Boston Police Homicide Unit at 617- 343-4470. Anonymous tipsters can also call 1-800-494-TIPS or text the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).
“The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of those who wish to help this investigation anonymously,” the department said in a statement.