Five days, 17 shootings in Boston
The violence began just before midnight on July 3, when someone was shot at a street corner in Roslindale.
By sunset Sunday — a span of just over four days — 17 people were wounded in shootings in Boston, including an 8-year-old girl. All 17 victims are expected to live, police said.
Police said Monday they have not made any arrests in the shootings and declined to say whether any are related. They declined to release the victims’ names and in many cases declined to provide their gender or age.
The July Fourth holiday is often marred by violence in Boston. During the first week of July 2018, three people were killed and seven injured in shootings, according to Boston Police Department statistics. In 2017, two people were shot and killed and another 15 were injured in the first week of July.
“It’s shattering,” said Mark V. Scott, program director of the Boston Public Health Commission’s trauma response and recovery initiative. “It shatters your sense of meaning, it shatters your sense of self, it shatters your sense of safety.”
The city’s trauma teams spent recent days responding to some of the shootings, handing out pamphlets about reactions to traumatic events and talking to people about what they can do to move forward, from focusing on their physical health to seeking counseling.
“Our job is, how do we now take the fragments, the pieces of that, and piece it back together?” Scott said.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he was deeply troubled by the shootings.
“We know every year when it’s coming, and you can only prepare so much,” he said. “You can’t obviously track every person that wants to commit violence and commit harm to somebody. You can’t, you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
On Monday evening, Walsh joined Scott, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, and about a dozen volunteers and police officers on a weekly peace walk along Norfolk Street in Mattapan, from the Mildred Avenue Community Center to Morton Street. They stopped and chatted with children at the Walker Playground.
Lola Alexander, a trauma and recovery team volunteer from Dorchester, walked along and placed pamphlets on parked cars and chain-link fences.
“We’ve been doing it and we’re going to keep on doing it until we see results,” Alexander said. “We’ve all got to do this together, not one group, not one organization. It’s a community affair.”
Just before 11 p.m. on July 4, gunfire broke out during celebrations at Mary Hannon Park in Dorchester, leaving a 35-year-old man in critical condition. An 8-year-old girl was shot in the foot.
It was not clear whether the victims are related, police said.
“As far as we can tell, everybody was in the Mary Hannon Park enjoying the Fourth of July, as they should be,” said Gross.
Within minutes, another person was shot in Hyde Park. Half an hour after that, gunfire broke out in the South End, near the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, wounding one person.
Overnight, there were separate shootings on Blue Hill Avenue near Grove Hall and in Franklin Park. Seven minutes after that, a person was shot on Draper Street in Dorchester.
During the evening of July 5, three men and three women were shot inside a car in Roxbury. Family members said among them were two sisters and their cousin.
“It was just too much,” said the mother of the two injured sisters. Her daughters, she said, were “innocent bystanders.”
The victims and family members asked not to be identified out of concern for their safety.
Around 2 a.m. Sunday, a man in his late 30s was shot on Stratton Street in Dorchester. About 30 minutes later, a 24-year-old man was shot in the hand on Wilmore Street in Mattapan. The man, 24, was arrested on warrants charging him with assault and other violations, police said. Police did not identify him. He was slated to be arraigned Monday on multiple charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, violation of a restraining order, and resisting arrest.
A little after 4:30 p.m. Sunday, one person was shot in the leg on Winston Road in Dorchester.
In the first six months of the year, there were 18 homicides by gunfire in Boston and 69 nonfatal shootings, police said. That’s similar to the first six months of 2018, when 21 people were killed in shootings and 65 were injured.
“We have the toughest gun laws in the country in Massachusetts, you know, we’ve taken 4,000 guns off the street in the last five years,” Walsh said. “But all of what we’ve done, you still have a weekend like this. And it makes you think, God, what more can you do? But there has to be more.”