A string of gun violence in Boston has city officials and community members calling for peace. With three homicides in the city since last Friday, many worry the incidents are just a preview of what could be a dangerous summer.
Those who live near Walnut Park in Roxbury woke up to gunfire Tuesday night. Police said one man was killed and another was seriously hurt.
“It was just like a pop, pop, pop. I looked out my bedroom window and I saw the man. He had fallen down and was screaming,” one neighbor said.
Police said they do not believe the shooting was random, but it is just the latest incident of gun violence in the city over the last few days. On Tuesday, two people were shot in South Boston. On Monday, one man was killed after a shooting near Orchard Park in Roxbury. On Sunday, a teenager was shot in Charlestown, and on Friday, a shooting at a gas station in Roslindale left one man dead and another hurt.
According to Boston Police, the number of shootings is not higher than this time last year, but those who live near the crime scenes said over the last few days, the violence seems to be escalating.
More on gun violence in Boston
“We’ve had a spate of shootings and it’s not even the summer yet,” Ruth Zakarin of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence said.
Zakarin said there are a number of root causes including COVID-19.
"The pandemic exacerbated the inequities that drive violence," Zakarin said.
Along with getting more guns off the streets, her coalition is pushing for the passage of a bill that would ensure the state do more analysis on the data collected from them. The goal is to better address how guns are getting into communities.
Rev. Edwin Johnson of St. Mary’s Episcopal in Dorchester is also working on violence prevention. He is focused on hiring more young people and hosting more community events to try and promote peace.”
"Even if somebody has engaged in violence, it’s not too late. And once people get to know each other, people are less likely to perpetrate violence when they know their community," Johnson said.