Columnists :: Police Beat
Updates on shootings and gun confiscation by Kate Vander Wiede
Managing EditorThursday Sep 30, 2010 Two shootings occurred in the South End this summer, one on Aguadilla Street (8/29) and another on West Newton Street (9/2). The night after the West Newton Street shooting, police confiscated guns from near and around O’Day park. This confiscation took took place late on September 3 into the early morning hours of September 4.
Through email, Sergeant Gino Provenzano of D4 told the South End News on Thursday afternoon, September 30, that one suspect from the Sept 3-4 gun confiscation has been arrested:
"A suspect was identified and an arrest warrant was served for the individual involved in the firearm incident on 09/04. He was arrested on that warrant 09/24. His name is Edgardo Ortiz and he was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm and Ammo," Provenzano said.
Captain Paul Ivens, on Thursday morning, further provided updates on the shootings at Aguadilla Street and West Newton Street. According to Ivens, two arrests were made in connection with the shooting at Aguadilla Street a couple weeks after the shooting.
In the West Newton Street incident, no arrests have been made. The victim in that shooting, who was shot in the hand, has been uncooperative with police.
"He is not telling us anything," Ivens said. "So that has stymied that particular investigation. But that doesn’t mean we give up," he added, noting they were still looking at other avenues.
Republished article on shootings:
At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 2, police responded to several reports of shots being fired.
While a police report listed 85 West Newton Street as the incident location, Elaine Driscoll, Boston Police Department spokesperson said in an email that police initially responded to an address on Shawmut Avenue.
"There, witnesses, who refused to identify themselves, reported that a young, black, Hispanic male, 20 years, had been shot and was transported to Boston Medical Center by a City of Boston street worker," she continued.
One resident who called the police was Carlos French, who said that he woke up to hear, over his air conditioning, eight shots being fired. He ran upstairs to see if he could see anything after the fact, but to no avail.
"It was pretty quiet out where I was. It took awhile for the cops to show up but then they were out in force," French said.
The police report notes that when District D-4 officers responded to the scene, they discovered possible bullet holes in both the passenger and driver side of a Lincoln car.
Between 82 and 86 W. Newton Street, police found six shell casings in the front yard, as well as 10 shell casings spread throughout the streets between 82 and 86 West Newton Street. They also observed what appeared to be a mark on a swing set bar made by a bullet. Police removed a dark -colored backpack from the scene.
The incident occurred across the street from Villa Victoria Center for the Arts and O’Day Playground, though the houses where the bullet casings were found are not part of Villa Victoria housing.
Calls to the CEO of Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, Vanessa Calderon-Rosado, were not returned in press time.
The police report also notes that at least one witness saw two males run from the scene after the shots were fired. An intermittent blood trail was found running from the intersection of West Newton Street and Newland Street. The blood trail crossed Shawmut Avenue at West Newton Street and ended near the intersection of East Newton Street and Father Francis Gilday Street.
On Friday morning, Lieutenant Michael Conley said that they had located the victim, who was shot in the wrist, but that they had not yet located the perpetrators. He could give no description of the shooters.
Driscoll added that the victim is 19. His is expected to survive his injuries.
This is the seventh shooting this year in District D-4, which includes the South End, the Back Bay and Fenway. That is 36% fewer shootings than in 2009, when there were 11. The last shooting in the South End happened on August 29 at 20 Aguadilla Street.
French felt it had been awhile since shots were fired in the South End.
"It’s probably been quiet awhile compared to five or six years ago where at least every month, if not more than once a month, shots were fired," he said. "It’s like, here we go again."
While the investigation is ongoing, it seems police have stepped up their presence on West Newton Street in response. A police report from the night of Friday, September 3, said that around 9:30pm, after officers approached a group of seven across from O’Day Park, a gun was seen lying on the ground.
The police report says officers handcuffed the men and proceeded to search the area. They recovered two firearms - the second on top of a park bench in O’Day Park - and numerous rounds of ammunition.
The report says no one was arrested, but all individuals were FIO’d.
At the police station, community service officer Mary Collins was unable to provide any information on whether the two incidents were related.
You can reach Kate at email@example.com. ’Like’ us on Facebook!.