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One dead, two injured in early morning Roxbury shooting

Neighbor Nancy Sutton looked in the direction of the shooting scene on Saturday. “[Gang members] have more guns than the police. It’s really sad because now a mother has to bury her child.”
Neighbor Nancy Sutton looked in the direction of the shooting scene on Saturday. “[Gang members] have more guns than the police. It’s really sad because now a mother has to bury her child.”John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

One man was killed, and a man and a woman sustained non-life-threatening injuries in an early morning shooting in Roxbury on Saturday, according to Boston police.

Officers responded to a report of a shooting near Westminster Avenue around 3:47 a.m., police said.

“Upon arrival, we observed two male victims, both approximately in their mid-20s, suffering from gunshot wounds,” Boston police Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory P. Long said at the scene early Saturday morning, according to a recording provided by police.

Both men were transported to nearby hospitals, where one was pronounced dead, Long said.

“At the same time, officers responded to another call at 146 Ruthven St. in Roxbury for a report of a person shot,” Long said. There they found a woman who appeared to be in her early 20s and had sustained a non-life-threatening wound. She was also taken to a hospital.

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Long said there may have been an altercation in the Westminster Avenue area and said all three victims appeared to have been shot there.

“We also believe this is an isolated incident,” Long said. No arrests were made.

The man’s death marks Boston’s 33rd homicide of 2019, compared with 47 homicides by this time last year, police said.

By midmorning Saturday, the neighborhood was peaceful, full of residents running errands and walking dogs, with no sign of the chaos that had preceded the crisp autumn day.

But neighbors awakened by the violence overnight described mayhem outside their windows.

There was a single booming shot, they said, followed by panicked screams.

Jasmine, who asked that her last name not be published out of fear for her safety, said she was awakened sometime after 3 a.m. by an argument outside her apartment, near the Walnut Park children’s playground. The exchange became increasingly heated, she said, and then she heard the footfalls of people running down the street.

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“I’m like, ‘What the hell’s going on out there?’ ” she said.

Then she heard the gunshot.

“The pop was loud,” said another neighbor, who declined to give her name. “That’s all I heard, and it just woke me up.”

Looking outside, Jasmine said, she saw a man lying motionless on the pavement near the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Ruthven Street.

A woman standing in the middle of Walnut Avenue screamed: “My boyfriend got shot! My boyfriend got shot!”

The apparent shooter yelled at the motionless man on the ground: “Get the [expletive] up!”

Nearby, Jasmine said, a man was on his cellphone: “Y’all need to hurry up! Somebody just got shot!”

Later, she said, she watched emergency responders lift the man from the ground onto a stretcher and place the stretcher in an ambulance — and then the ambulance just sat there.

When it didn’t rush to a hospital, Jasmine began to fear the worst.

“He didn’t look like he was moving at all,” she said, adding later, “I kind of figured . . . he’s probably already gone.”

Tenants had been hosting a Halloween party inside a new apartment building on Walnut Park, she said, and after the shooting, dozens poured out of the building and onto the street.

“You should have seen how many people were coming out of this apartment,” she said. “The whole street got blocked off with just people.”

Jasmine, 44, said she has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years and “it’s not getting no better.” She’s ready to move, she said.

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She and other neighbors said they have seen escalating violence in recent years, even as upscale new developments rise around them and more young professionals move in.

Nancy Sutton, 62, who lives around the corner from the shooting scene, said this year has been more violent than last year, and she believes much of the conflict is caused by gang members fighting over turf.

“They have more guns than the police,” she said. “It’s really sad because now a mother has to bury her child.”

Anyone who may have information on the incident is asked to contact Boston police homicide detectives at 617-343-4470.


Globe correspondent Amanda Kaufman contributed to this report. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox @globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.