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Brave boy ‘doing great’ Shot tot can’t wait to go home

Brave boy ‘doing great’
Shot tot can’t wait to go home

By Christine McConville  |   Monday, July 4, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com |  Local Coverage

Photo by Faith Ninivaggi

After spending a harrowing week in a medically induced coma, the tough little boy who was shot in a Dorchester park last week is awake, chatting with his mom, and even looking forward to coming home.

“He’s doing great,” said Barbara Dulin, a reverend with the Greater Love Tabernacle Church, where the wounded boy’s mother and grandmother worship. “He’s talking with his mom, and he’s telling her he wants to go home.”

On Monday night, 4-year-old A.J. and his mom were catching a break from the summertime heat at Harambee Park at the intersection of Talbot and Blue Hill avenues with many others when two people opened fire into the crowd at about 9:20. Little A.J. was hit in the back with a stray bullet, police said.

Since being rushed to Boston Medical Center, the kid — who has been described as a fighter who is naturally protective of his younger cousins — has been operated on twice.

And now, as A.J. recovers, Boston police continue to search for the shooters.

No arrests have been made, but Boston police spokesman Officer Eddie Crispin called the search “very active.”

“We are still very much looking for people with information to call,” he said.

Yesterday, in a crowded corner of Harambee Park, near the George Robert White Youth Development Center, determined locals said last week’s brazen shooting wouldn’t stop them from enjoying the park, and celebrating the community.

“This is my community, too,” said a proud Gloria Avila, 53, as a crew of smiling kids rolled by on bikes.

“I’ve lived in the same place for 23 years,” she said, “and I’ve seen a lot of changes, and they aren’t good. There are a lot of kids running around, unsupervised, and we all need to speak up about it.”

Edward Burks, also a reverend at Greater Love Tabernacle Church, which sponsored the Sunday afternoon cookout and concert, agreed.

“We need peace in our community, and we won’t stand for violence,” he said.

Boston police, who promise to protect witnesses’ identities, are asking that anyone with information about the shooting call detectives at 617-343-4470, or leave anonymous tips by calling 800-494-8477, or by texting the word “tip” to 27463.


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