Residents are "on edge" as violence continues
In the wake of a shooting on Shawmut Avenue on Dec. 16 that left one man injured, community members said they are shocked and concerned about safety in the area.
According to the Boston Police Media Relations Department, at 12:17 p.m. on Friday, police responded to a report of shots being fired near 609 Shawmut Ave. They located a man who had been shot near 77 Lenox Street. He was treated for non-life threatening gunshot wounds. Universal Hub reported that another victim was located around the corner at 618 Shawmut Ave. Police also found a suspect in the area, John Brown, 21, who was arrested for alleged assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.
On Dec. 18, as two police cars idled on Shawmut Avenue, employees at Brothers Liquors at 616 Shawmut Ave. said the shooting had not made them more concerned about safety in the neighborhood. But shoppers at Shawmut Grocery Store at 618 Shawmut Ave. said they were concerned about the incident.
"When someone gets shot, no one’s happy about it, especially for the kids, you know?" said a Lenox Street resident named Ahmed who declined to give his last name. Ahmed said he has lived in the area for two years, and that violence in the area happens "all the time."
Another woman who declined to give her name said she hoped the violence in the area would stop.
"I’m very devastated. I’m very afraid of living in this area. I can’t even come out at 8 p.m. to buy a gallon of milk for my daughter because there are gang members smoking weed," she said, adding that she has asked to leave the area and hopes to move within two weeks.
The violence in the area continued this week when on Tuesday, Dec. 20, a 14-year-old boy was stabbed six times on Lenox Street, according to early reports.
Community leaders who run after school programs in the area said they were concerned about the safety of the neighborhood’s children. Rev. Tim Crellin of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 419 Shawmut Ave. walked over to St. Stephen’s other after school program at St. Augustine and Martin, located at 29 Lenox St., on Friday to offer support. He said by the time he arrived at about 3 p.m. the scene was clear, but he said the members of the congregation he spoke to express concern about him walking around the area.
"I think people are always on edge," he said. "In broad daylight, shootings are even more upsetting, with kids getting out of school at that time. This is why we run after school programs."
Camille Spivey, director of the B-READY Afterschool Program at St. Augustine and St. Martin, said she arrived on Shawmut Avenue at around 1 p.m., at which point police were putting up tape around the scene.
"I spoke to many parents in the program, because many parent in the program their kids live in the Lenox Projects or Camfield Estates or on Northampton Street," said Spivey. "A lot of them were really shocked. They were sort of like upset that it was during the day."
Spivey said she decided to keep the children in her after school program inside that day, and that she is worried about their safety in the future.
"I am concerned about safety in the area," she said. "Because it was on Shawmut Avenue, there’s a playground right there that we often frequent. I’m really cautious about having the kids out. It was broad daylight, at 1 o’clock, so it could happen at 3, 4 o’clock."