Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis for the first time confirmed, in a Gazette interview last week, that a Nov. 21 shooting and stabbing at the Same Old Place restaurant that left all three alleged participants dead and one bystander wounded was motivated by an ongoing feud between rival gangs from Boylston and Mozart streets in Jamaica Plain.
According to police, the three men involved in the Sunday evening fight were Johnel Cruz, 20; Winzisky Soto, 27; and Ariel Dume, 20. Soto and Cruz lived in JP.
In a phone interview with the Gazette, Davis said the recent shooting, as well as the October slaying of Luis “Tito” Torres on Boylston Street and two non-fatal shootings in Egleston Square in August, were the work of “a small number of people. We know who they are and we are on them.”
Davis said significant detective and police patrol presence is being devoted to maintaining public safety in both the Mozart/Boylston area and the JP Center business district.
“I would not advise people not to visit. There is a significant police presence in those areas…The only people that should be concerned are members of these two groups,” Davis said.
“We are targeting the Mozart group with drug enforcement,” he said. “Patrol resources and detective attention are being devoted to areas where they normally congregate.”
The Police Commissioner declined to comment on the source or history of the alleged gang feud, “The last thing I want to do is direct attention to a group of thugs,” he said.
“What we are concerned about is having a safe holiday season. We will have a visible police presence in every district in the city. We will make sure the city is safe, and deal with the people responsible for violence in the community,” Davis said.
Public Health officials, police and non-profit social service providers are also directing significant resources to “trauma response” and other community outreach efforts in the wake of the slayings. [See related article.]