July 13, 2024

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First victim of ‘nightmare’ slays laid to rest

By Marie Szaniszlo

A community’s grief erupted yesterday as hundreds of mourners turned out yesterday for the first funeral for one of the four victims cut down in last week’s horrific Mattapan massacre.

“Please come back! Please come back!” a woman wailed over the open casket bearing the body of Simba Martin at Timothy Baptist Church in Roxbury, where he was a tenor in the choir and volunteered in the vacation Bible school.

“Our families will never be the same again,” the Rev. Larry Green said of the shootings, which have led to one arrest so far. “This is a nightmare from which some will never be able to recover.”

Martin would have turned 22 Monday. Instead, he was laid to rest at Mount Hope Cemetery yesterday, six days after his body was found along with four other victims, including his girlfriend, 21-year-old Eyanna Louise Flonory, and her 2-year-old son, Amani Smith, on Woolson Street.

Flonory and her little boy will be buried today after a noon service at Morning Star Baptist Church. The fifth victim, Marcus A. Hurd, 32, remains hospitalized in critical condition.

“We need to pray for our community that this great tragedy will bring us closer together,” Green said. “No longer should we be burying our babies . . . Your anger and my anger have got to be turned. We’ve got to declare war on crime.”

Martin attended Snowden International High School, where he took part in youth programs while on probation stemming from an armed robbery in the South End.

Martin enrolled in Quincy College in May, hoping to earn a criminal justice degree. He was also a talented athlete, representing Timothy Baptist Church in the Off-the-Streets Basketball League.

In 2007, he attended a “Youth Encountering Christ” trip through the church.

“I sometimes yearn for a relationship with God,” he wrote afterward. “This is so important to me because I want a relationship, but I’m scared to go after it.”

A funeral for the fourth victim, Levaughn Washum-Garrison, 22, is set for Monday in Mattapan.

Police last week arrested 34-year-old Kimani Ato Washington of Dorchester for weapons violations and receiving a stolen motor vehicle in connection with the slayings.

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