DA: Park killing may be gang-related

June 27, 2008
By

JOHN RUCH

The April 21 shooting death of a Dorchester man on a Southwest Corridor Park basketball court may be connected to a street gang feud, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

“Investigators believe it may be gang-related,” DA’s Office spokesperson Jake Wark told the Gazette. “There’s strong evidence that the victim, Mr. [Luis] Troncoso, was specifically targeted.”

In the wake of Troncoso’s killing, there has been dispute over whether he was connected to a gang, and what “gang” means. Police officials have shied away from using the term publicly.

At an April meeting about the killing, local E-13 Police commander Capt. Christine Michalosky called Troncoso’s killing “a gang problem.” But when challenged by an audience member to identify the gang, she quickly said, “I’m not saying a gang did it.”

Local youths, police and prosecutors have previously told the Gazette that Jamaica Plain’s youth violence is often less about organized criminal gangs and more about informal feuds and loose ideas of “turf.”

Asked what “gang-related” means in terms of the Troncoso investigation, Wark said, “I would respectfully decline to identify any gangs. There are many rivalries and feuds within the city of Boston and throughout Suffolk County that have a reputation for violence.”

A June 18 Boston Globe article, citing unnamed sources, said police believe the June 16 shooting of an infant in Mattapan may have been revenge for Troncoso’s killing. Wark declined to comment specifically on that claim, saying only that police will “pursue any connection to any other slayings.”

The Southwest Corridor Park is state property. The State Police are investigating Troncoso’s murder under the authority of the DA’s Office.

Wark said the investigation has been slowed down by a lack of cooperation from witnesses. Anyone with information about the killing can contact police at 727-8817.

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