4-year-old is latest shooting victim

August 28, 2008
By

JOHN RUCH

A 4-year-old boy is the latest victim in a month-long wave of shootings that have left eight people wounded in Jackson and Egleston squares. Most of the shootings involved suspects spraying gunfire at groups of people outside.

“Firearm violence is unacceptable in our city,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis in a press statement. “When the victim is a small child, the cowardly behavior of the person responsible is all the more alarming.”

Jamaica Plain is not alone in suffering street violence. A similar, and possibly related, outbreak of shootings has spread across Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Hyde Park and Mission Hill.

The 4-year-old boy was shot in the chest on the evening of Aug. 19 outside 25 Bragdon St. His 17-year-old cousin, who was also wounded in the incident, had spoken to two men walking nearby. One of the men returned a short time later and opened fire on the 17-year-old, who picked up his younger cousin and began running from the scene. The 4-year-old was wounded when the suspect continued shooting at the fleeing victims. Both victims are expected to recover, according to the Boston Police Department (BPD).

Larelle Pratt, 19, of Seaver Street in Dorchester was arrested last week on assault with intent to murder and other charges in that case. Pratt was held on $150,000 bail.

On Aug. 9, police found a man in his 30s suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound at Pierpont and Playstead roads inside Franklin Park. In connection with that shooting, police are seeking a 1999 gray Ford Taurus with the Massachusetts license plate 5021RK.

On Aug. 5, four teenagers were shot while sitting on the front steps of 15 Wardman Road. Their injuries were reported as not life-threatening by BPD.

That quadruple shooting happened about 90 minutes after the National Night Out anti-crime event, attended by Davis and Mayor Thomas Menino, was held about a half-mile away in Franklin Park.

On July 27, a man was wounded by an unidentified gunman who opened fire on a group of people in the Bromley-Heath housing development.

The victim was identified as 35-year-old Stedmon Hill of 9 Plant Court, according to a BPD incident report. Hill was expected to recover from wounds to his chest and hand.

Hill was reportedly standing outside behind 9 Plant Court along with at least three other people around 1 a.m. The suspect walked nearby, pulled a black hood over his head and fire a gun multiple times in their direction.

Hill was the only person wounded. A car parked nearby was damaged by bullets. Police officers reportedly found spent ammunition casings and other evidence at the scene.

Since warm weather began in April, there have been several other street shootings in JP. They include: the April shooting death of a man on a Southwest Corridor Park basketball court; the May killing of an Academy Homes housing development resident; the drive-by shooting of two men on Centre Street in Jackson Square; an Academy Homes shooting incident that led to a police chase through Marcella Park; and the wounding of a man on Rockvale Circle.

Suspects have been arrested in the Academy Homes incidents. All of the other cases remain under investigation. Anyone with information can call BPD at 1-800-494-8477 or text-message the word “TIP” to 27463.