Braintree

Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal South Shore Plaza Shooting

Julius Hammond-Desir was arrested in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday

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Authorities announced Wednesday morning that they have arrested a Maynard man wanted for murder nearly a month after the shooting death of another man inside the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Massachusetts.

Julius Hammond-Desir, 19, was arrested in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood by Braintree, Boston and Massachusetts State Police, the Norfolk District Attorney's Office said. He was wanted for the murder of 26-year-old Dorchester resident Dijoun Beasley on Jan. 22.

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Hammond-Desir entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment Wednesday in Quincy District Court and was ordered held without bail. He is scheduled to return to court on March 15 for a probable cause hearing. He was represented at arraignment by attorney Mark Wester.

A man was critically injured Saturday afternoon in a shooting at a shopping mall in Braintree, Massachusetts, and the suspect is still on the loose, according to officials.

Police had previously arrested 27-year-old Samantha Schwartz of Attleboro on a charge of being an accessory after the fact of murder.

State and local police responded to a call of shots fired with a person down at South Shore Plaza around 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, authorities said. The mall was evacuated and those still inside were ordered to shelter in place until it was safe to come out.

Emergency personnel found Beasley on the ground with at least one apparent gunshot wound. He was taken to a Boston hospital with life-threatening injuries and died several days later.

According to Braintree police, there was an "encounter" between the two men inside a store on the first floor of the mall. Hammond-Desir allegedly approached the victim, pulled out a firearm and shot Beasley. Police believe Hammond-Desir immediately fled the mall.

Police said at the time that it appeared this was a targeted shooting and not a random event and insisted there was no danger to the community at large.

The owner of the mall -- the site of several other violent incidents in recent years -- pledged to beef up security in the wake of the shooting.

Michael Romstad, executive vice president of property management for mall owner Simon Property Group, told The Patriot Ledger that the shooting was “unacceptable.”

The mall is adding security features like a K-9 unit, more armed guards and more security cameras, including portable security camera towers outside connected to Simon’s Indianapolis-based intelligence center, he said.

Simon has been working with Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros and police Chief Mark Dubois.

The mall pays for three city police officers to patrol, but the mayor and chief don’t think that’s enough and want Simon to pay for more. The mayor also said the video surveillance system at the mall is “a little bit behind the times,” and would like to see upgrades.

In addition to the latest shooting, gang members exchanged gunfire inside a department store at the mall in 2017, and in 2020, a 15-year-old girl described as an innocent bystander was hit twice during a shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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