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A man in his 30s was found shot to death on Hartford Street in Dorchester early Saturday morning, according to Boston police.

The victim was found suffering from multiple wounds around 2:45 a.m. outside 39 Hartford St., said Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans, who was at the crime scene along with investigators. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Evans said police found the man when they responded to a shot spotter activation, which helps detect when gunshots have been fired.

Investigators are trying to determine a motive for the attack, Evans said. No arrests have been made.

The investigation remained active Saturday night, said Officer James Kenneally, a Boston police spokesman. Anyone with information is asked to contact Boston police, and those who wish to remain anonymous can call 1-800-494-TIPS or text the word “TIP” to 27463, he said.


The killing marked the 16th homicide this year, compared with 10 during the same period last year, according to police.

Many residents on the street Saturday morning were unaware of the shooting. Several passed by two candles set up at the site without a glance.

While on a morning walk with a friend, Sheryl Richards doubled back to look at the candles after hearing about the shooting. “I knew I heard something last night, but I didn’t know what it was,” she said.

Richards was surprised to hear about the killing and didn’t know what to make of it.

“Sometimes it’s targeted, but it can also be random. You can’t really know,” she said. “So you can’t just walk around scared.”

Geraldine Owens, who has lived on the street since 1972, said the shooting was part of recent changes in the neighborhood, a sign that the area was changing.

Many longtime residents complained about growing issues such as noise and trash. Just a few months ago, cops had showed up to a house on the street with guns drawn, she said.


“This kind of thing didn’t used to happen around here. It was a quiet neighborhood,” she said. “Now we have these 30-something-year-olds in here who bring this stuff with them.”

Some residents were afraid to alert authorities, she said.

“When something happens, people always ask others to call the police. No one wants to look like a snitch,” she said. “I’m not afraid though. We can’t let this go unchecked.”

Mike Bello of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Jacob Carozza contributed to this report. Jerome Campbell can be reached at jerome.campbell @globe.com.