A man was killed Monday evening in a daylight shooting at a park right near a school in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood.
Boston police received a call around 5:45 p.m. for a report of a shooting in the area of 27 Keegan Street. Officers responding to Orchard Park found a man, later identified as 27-year-old Bihlal Bell of Boston, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries, Boston Police Deputy Supt. Felipe Colon said.
“Obviously this is yet another tragic situation. Our hearts are heavy at this particular time," Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said at a press conference with Colon later Monday night. "From our focus, one of the obvious primary concerns is that this happened in a public park."
Investigators canvassed the entire park, searching for evidence and collecting several bullet casings that were spread across the street and the baseball field near the Orchard Gardens Public School.
"I was really shocked, and I was really scared because it is a park, and I just hope that the kids are not in danger, like it wasn't happening during school hours, because the school is right next to it," said Lynn Ngyuen, who is concerned for children living in the area.
Aerial footage from the scene showed all of Orchard Park taped off. Several police vehicles could also be seen parked in the street alongside the baseball field, with detectives nearby talking to people just steps from the baseball diamond.
Supt. Colon would not confirm the shooting happened on the baseball field itself, saying, "this is a fluid investigation, we're gathering facts now."
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Homicide investigators were processing a fairly large crime scene, Colon added, including ballistic evidence from two firearms.
The district attorney said they are still investigating if one of the guns belonged to the victim. No arrests have been made.
Neighbors told NBC10 Boston they heard anywhere from 12 to 20 gunshots, while the district attorney said they don't yet know how many shots were fired.
No one else was hurt in the shooting, but officials realize it could have been worse.
"As far as we know and by all indications there was no ongoing activity or other people from the public in the park at the time of the incident so we can call ourselves fortunate in that respect," Hayden said.
Nearby residents told NBC10 Boston that the park is often used by children after school.
"It's super crazy," said Esteban Lara, who was concerned for his family. "I mean, my nieces and nephews play in this park all the time."
Lara and neighbors living around Roxbury's Orchard Park consider themselves fortunate that they and their loved ones weren't around the playground when the deadly shooting took place Monday.
"When you hear something like this happening right across the street from where your mother lives, it's kind of like pretty crazy, pretty concerning," Lara added.
Monday's fatal incident is the latest in an uptick in shootings in recent days across Suffolk County -- including a crowded street in Revere, a busy gas station parking lot in Roslindale, and a playground in Charlestown -- something the district attorney said he attributes to too many guns on the street.
"Let's hope this is the end of the uptick," Hayden exclaimed from the Roxbury park shooting scene Monday night.
Residents in the area say they are disappointed over the gun violence that continues to plague the city.
"It's sad. I mean, it's not the first time that we've heard this as well, so it's something that, you know, it's a reality check for all of us," Ngyuen said. "What is the real issue here?"
Officials are asking for the public's help with this case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Boston Police Department's homicide unit at 617-343-4470, or anonymous tips can be called into the CrimeStoppers tip line at 1-800-494-TIPS.
An investigation is ongoing.