Jury sees shell casing in murder case of Roxbury woman killed in 2013 drive-by shooting

Jurors in the trial Tuesday of one of the alleged gang members charged with killing 23-year-old Briana Bigby and wounding her boyfriend in a 2013 drive-by shooting in Roxbury viewed a shell casing that detectives recovered from a rental vehicle linked to the two suspected assailants.

Prosecutor Edmond J. Zabin held up the shell casing in a small plastic bag in Suffolk Superior Court and slowly walked in front of the jury box during the trial of Rasheem Christian, 28, who faces murder and weapons charges in connection with the slaying of Bigby, who was gunned down on the afternoon of June 1, 2013, on Walnut Avenue.


Christian has pleaded not guilty.

Boston police Detective Terrence Burke testified that investigators recovered the shell casing on June 2, 2013, from a Dodge Durango that police had taken custody of as part of the probe.

He conceded on cross examination by Christian’s lawyer, Rosemary C. Scapicchio, that he couldn’t say how long the shell casing had been in the Durango.

Prosecutors have alleged in court filings that Christian and codefendant Anthony Howard, suspected Greenwood St. gang members, were traveling in the rented Durango when it pulled up next to an Altima carrying Bigby and her boyfriend, a suspected member of the Magnolia Intervale Columbia, or MIC, gang.

Witnesses reported hearing three gunshots, records show, and Bigby and her boyfriend were struck. Her boyfriend survived.

Earlier that day, prosecutors allege, Howard shot two other men, suspected members of the Thetford Avenue and Wainwright Park gangs, on Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury. Those victims survived.

Howard, 33, will be tried separately on murder and other charges for his alleged roles in Bigby’s slaying and the earlier double shooting. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Prosecutors have said in court papers that investigators believe the shooting incidents “occurred because of a gang rivalry or feud between members of Greenwood St. against both Thetford Ave./Wainwright and MIC that existed on June 1, 2013.”


Christian’s trial resumes Wednesday.

Shortly after Bigby’s death in 2013, her aunt, Darlene Atkins, told the Globe her niece was “a good kid” who “did everything right, nothing wrong.”

Atkins said Bigby had attended college in Baltimore but had not completed her studies. At the time of her death, Atkins said, Bigby worked at a bank and had a second job at a shelter. “She was the perfect daughter. She had her moments, as all kids do growing up, but that had nothing to do with [the shooting],” Atkins said. “She had it going on. She had everything going on for her.”

Atkins said it was hard “to have a precious angel like her taken away too soon, way too soon.”

Globe Correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.