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Cops: Boy shot in back while playing in park with mom

Cops: Boy shot in back while playing in park with mom
By O’Ryan Johnson  |   Tuesday, June 28, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com |  Local Coverage
Harambe Park Shooting
Photo by Mark Garfinkel

Police swarmed through a traumatized city neighborhood last night, hunting the heartless thugs whose gunplay left a small boy in critical condition, shot in the back as he played with his mother on a warm summer evening at Harambee Playground on Talbot Avenue in Dorchester, authorities said.

They were back at it again this morning leafleting the neighborhood scouring for tips.

The boy, who cops say is 4 to 6 years old, was rushed to Boston Medical Center’s pediatric emergency unit with critical injuries, police said. Doctors managed to stabilize him last night, police said.

The shooting happened at 9:20 p.m. shortly after several gas-powered dirt bikes converged on the area, police said. It was unclear who the intended target of the gunfire was. Police said that after the shooting, the dirt bikers sped off.

“This is an outrageous act of violence in a public park,” Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said. “This violence is unacceptable. We have pulled out all the stops in this investigation, and we are doing everything humanly possible to bring the people responsible for this to justice.”

Davis said initial indications suggest a gang-related shooting.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, shortly after landing in Washington, D.C., last night for meetings today, was briefed by Davis and said in a statement: “Any gun violence in our city is unacceptable but when it involves a young child you can only feel sadness and anger. With the public’s help we will stop those who want to bring violence to our neighborhoods and I urge anyone with any information to call the police department.”

Menino spokeswoman Dot Joyce said the mayor expressed concern for the boy and his family.

Boston Police Superintendent Bruce Holloway said cops wanted to question several men who were seen fleeing the scene, one of whom was wearing a white shirt.

“This is very serious,” Holloway said. “It’s a young male. It’s the beginning of summer. It’s very important the public step up. This is absolutely not accepted. We are going to pull out all the stops to investigate the case.”

A 23-year-old father who declined to give his name out of fear of retaliation said his own young son plays in the same park where the boy was shot.

“My son is 4 years old. Something hit me, that could have been my baby boy. It’s dumb, man. It’s dumb,” the man said. “Every time they do this, I think someone else is gonna get (angry) and retaliate. It’s just ongoing retaliation.”

Holloway said an adult male who was near the boy was grazed by one of the rounds. The identities of the victims were not released last night.

The boy’s mother was at his bedside at the hospital last night.

Dozens of cops from the city flooded the area after the shooting as police called for extra manpower to handle the investigation.

“I was asleep when it happened,” said a neighbor who declined to give her name this morning. “I thought it was firecrackers. Then I heard people screaming.”

“I heard the shooting. It came from the park,” said 20-year-old Kevin Scott, who was standing outside his Talbot Avenue apartment, across the street from the playground. “I seen everybody scattering. I ran behind a car and then ran inside. I hope (the victim) is OK. Some people have no sense. They just shot off in the park with all these people around. It’s the innocent bystanders who get hit all the time.”

Police are urging anybody from the public who saw what happened to contact detectives by calling 800-494-8477 or by texting the word “Tips” to CRIME (27463).

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1348435

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  1. Janeen

    So senseless and sad. I pray that little man completely recovers. When we can no longer play in a park… Then what?!?! Those ignorant bastards stole those kids innocence.