Victim identified in Friday morning slaying in Boston; one of five homicides in city in three days
BROCKTON — When Raymond Willie B. Holloway-Creighton was a child, he would lie on the grass with his grandmother, picking out shapes in the clouds.
“He would say, ‘Oh Grandma, that one looks like a lion! And that one looks like a mountain!’ ” Merlene Holloway-Cross recalled of her grandson Monday.
Holloway-Creighton’s imagination never left him as he grew into a man fascinated with graphic design and photography. On Thursday, he showed his grandmother his latest creation, designs for sweat shirts for himself and his infant son.
Just hours later, the 26-year-old was dead, shot in Dorchester as he headed home from his job driving for a food delivery service, his family said. He was the first of five men killed in Dorchester and Mattapan between Friday and Sunday mornings, police said.
Police found Holloway-Creighton wounded near Massachusetts Avenue and Chesterton Street shortly after 3:30 a.m. Friday, police said. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
The killings appear to be unrelated, police said, and officers have made arrests in two cases. But Holloway-Creighton’s killer remains at large, and his family said they want justice.
“When my grandson asks what happened to his father, I want to be able to tell him,” Cynthia Creighton said at her Brockton home, where her children, their grandparents, and other relatives joined her.
Creighton said she hasn’t fully grasped that her son is gone.
“I’m still not processing it,” she said. “But I have to be strong for my daughter-in-law and my grandson, because she’s not doing too well.”
Holloway-Creighton also worked as a valet at a hotel and moved cars at an automobile auction house, his mother said.
“I taught my kids not to be on the street, to make their money the right way,” she said. “And he was doing everything that I needed him to do, only for me to lose him to the streets anyway because of a coward.”
Holloway-Creighton enjoyed football and soccer and was the life of the party at family gatherings, relatives said. He was a dutiful son, grandson, brother, and cousin who made everyone feel appreciated and never let a special occasion pass unnoticed, they said.
His younger siblings said they looked up to him, but that he treated them as equals and included them in his activities whenever he could.
“He just wanted to know everyone. He wanted to love everyone,” said his youngest brother, Rayvaughn Holloway-Creighton, 17.
Holloway-Cross said she plans to see that her grandson’s sweatshirt designs are produced, so his brothers and his son can wear them in his memory.
Across the city, many residents were shaken by the surge of violence over the weekend. Around 6:45 p.m. Friday, officers found Gabriel Rodriguez suffering from gunshot wounds on Emrose Terrace in Dorchester.
Rodriguez, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene, and a wounded teenager found nearby was taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive.
Late Saturday, an attendant was shot in an apparent robbery attempt at Fabian Gas Station on Washington Street in Dorchester, police said. Police didn’t identify the victim, but Rosa Phinn-Westby and Mayra Cardona said he was their brother, Jose Luis Phinn Williams, 62.
Kevin Williams, 21, of Dorchester, was arrested in that shooting, police said.
Outside the Fabian Gas Station on Monday, neighborhood residents gathered at a spontaneous memorial by the side of the building, where mourners had left dozens of prayer candles and written messages on cardboard, posterboard, and the wall.
Jose Luis Phinn Williams would have turned 63 on Monday.
A 28-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified, said Williams had helped support her as she left an abusive relationship.
“One of the big pillars that encouraged me, it’s gone,” she said. “He was a wonderful person. He was an angel.”
Others remembered Williams as a neighborhood fixture who greeted everyone with warmth and humor. Fiona Palmer, 33, of Dorchester, said she and Williams would jokingly call each other “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” when she came to the station for gas.
“Every time I come here, he’s always greeting you very nice ... he’s really a sweet guy,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe this happened to him. He didn’t deserve this at all.”
On Sunday morning around 2:30, officers found an unidentified man in his early 40s suffering from a gunshot wound on Mildred Avenue in Mattapan, police said. The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The weekend’s fifth shooting happened at 11:30 Sunday morning, when an unidentified man in his 30s was found with an apparent gunshot wound on Itasca Street in Mattapan. He was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, police said.
Kai Harris, 26, of Brockton, was arrested and charged with murder in that shooting, police said.
Harris and Williams are set to be arraigned Tuesday in Dorchester District Court.
Boston police said there have been 44 homicides in Boston so far this year, compared with 42 at this time last year. Nonfatal shootings are down about 25 percent this year, police said.
Bishop William E. Dickerson II, senior pastor of Greater Love Tabernacle in Dorchester, said he had known three of the men who were killed, and that his heart went out to their families.
He said some community members tell him they have become weary of dealing with so much loss, while some isolate themselves because they fear violence on the streets.
“They’re tired of this vicious cycle . . . we have to safeguard our children and our grandchildren,” he said.