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Shootings keep city on the edge; Dorchester killing latest in string

Shootings keep city on the edge
Dorchester killing latest in string

By O’Ryan Johnson, John Zaremba and Marie Szaniszlo  |   Saturday, July 9, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com |  Local Coverage
Lenox St. shooting
ON THE TRAIL: Boston police investigate a shooting Thursday night on Lenox Street.

Photo by Matt Stone

Dorchester was hit by more bloodshed late Thursday night as a man in his early 30s was shot and killed, prompting the Hub’s top cop to say the city must remain “steadfast” in its latest efforts to stop the violence.

“There is no one solution to addressing firearm violence,” said Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said. “It is a complex issue that requires a strong collaborative and strategic approach. I firmly believe that we have the necessary components in place and it is critical that we remain steadfast and consistent in our method.”

He said much of the recent gun violence is fueled by past grudges and is centered in Dorchester, where police have focused their efforts, picking up some gang members on warrants and closely monitoring others.

“As they cycle in and out of jail the old feuds will erupt again,” Davis said. “There are undercover operations occurring in the city right now that will have an impact in weeks to come.”

Last night, anti-violence activists urged residents to fight the gangs with love, prayer and dogged determination during a rally at George H. Walker Playground in Mattapan.

“We must stand up violently,” the Rev. Gary Adams, a Boston police chaplain, told other clergy and members of the group Mothers for Justice and Equality. “Our weapons are not carnal. Our weapons are spiritual.”

Others called on adults to patrol local parks and administer old-fashioned neighborhood discipline on wayward youth. If a kid’s acting up, they said, call him out on it.

“I’m standing as a man of the community,” said the Rev. Ronald Odom, whose 13-year-old son, Stephen, died in 2007 when he was hit by errant gunfire. “I’m not running from anybody. I don’t fear anybody.”

This year’s shootings had been down from last year. On May 22, police said there had been 63 shootings, 30 fewer than the same time last year. But in more than a month the numbers of shootings have nearly doubled, to 123 as of July 4, one higher than at the same time last year. Police said there are still fewer homicides this year. Davis said there will be more patrols in high-crime areas, “closely monitoring” known gang members, while cops are considering installing more surveillance cameras.

On the streets, where friends gathered to remember the city’s 26th homicide victim, they questioned police tactics.

“They’re going after the wrong kids,” said a man who said he knew the victim for close to 20 years. “They’re out there working, but they’re grabbing people just because of how they are dressed.”

Police said the man killed Thursday night was shot about 11:30 p.m. at Mascot Street and Mountain Avenue. There was no motive released and no arrests have been made yet. Police also were investigating a shooting on Lenox Street that happened about 11 p.m. Thursday in which a 20-year-old man was critically injured with at least one gunshot to the chest, police said. No arrests have yet been made.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1350540


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