Boston

Mother of 13-Year-Old Killed in Mattapan Shooting: ‘Everybody in This City Should Be Outraged'

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing, police said

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A young teen killed Sunday morning in what officials are calling a "targeted" shooting in Boston's Mattapan neighborhood is being remembered by his school community in nearby Norwood.

The shooting victim was identified Monday night as 13-year-old Tyler Lawrence of Norwood, Boston police said. Tyler was a sixth-grade student at Coakley Middle School in Norwood.

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His mother spoke Tuesday near the scene of the shooting, making an emotional plea for change.

"Everybody in this city should be outraged! And if you're not, what's wrong?" said Remy Lawrence. "I just left a funeral home for my 13-year-old son!"

Tyler Lawrence left his grandparents' house and was killed about a block away.

"He was walking," Remy Lawrence said. "He was walking because he wanted to go for a walk."

Norwood Superintendent of Schools David Thomson issued a statement Tuesday offering condolences to Tyler's family, friends and loved ones "following this senseless tragedy."

"Tyler Lawrence was well-loved and a valuable member of our Coakley community," Thomson said. "His bright smile was on display every morning, and he made friends wherever he went. He was an avid basketball player, and enjoyed sports and being outside."

School officials said they are making counselors available in all school buildings Tuesday and over the next several days so students, faculty and staff can come together to support one another and heal.

"This is an extremely difficult time for all, and I encourage anyone who may be having an especially difficult time coping with this news to reach out for assistance," Thompson said.

The shooting occurred around 11:30 a.m. Sunday on Babson Street. Officers said they found Tyler at the end of a driveway outside an apartment building on Babson Street near Fremont Street after he had been shot multiple times. Boston EMS responded, but it was too late as the child died from his injuries at the scene, officials said.

Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox was joined on scene Sunday by several officials, including Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden.

"After leaving the scene in Mattapan Sunday I went home and watched football with my son, who is also 13," Hayden said Monday. "That's something this family will never be able to do with Tyler, and the explicit tragedy of that reality is shattering. This is an immeasurable loss for the Lawrence family and for the city."

Police said investigators believe the victim was targeted, though they don't yet know if he has any connection to the house he was found in front of.

Neighbors said they heard five gunshots ring out before seeing police race to the scene.

"Sometimes you know, you misconstrue the sounds of gunshots for fireworks, but no. This was sharp and precise. You knew they were gunshots," one man said.

"It's very tragic to see," said another neighbor who did not want to be shown on camera or identified. "Who would have thought this was his last day today?"

No arrests have been made. Officials have not shared any information on a possible suspect, noting that the investigation remains active and it's still too early to say whether they are looking for more than one person.

Wu thanked everyone who responded to the scene and said they would work quickly toward justice in this case.

"This is a part of the city with incredibly strong community, so many residents have come together to plan and make sure that everyone is on the same page, and today, on a morning when so many families are at church or just enjoying a quiet Sunday morning, it's incredibly painful to have this take place," she said. "I want to thank all of our first responders, BPD, EMS and everyone from all of the state and county agencies who were on scene right away and have been working very quickly to ensure that this investigation starts right away so that we can get to justice for this young person and their family."

"It is heartbreaking," she added. "We'll do our best to work quickly towards that resolution and ensure that we are here for the long haul with these families."

But neighbors in the area say they don't feel safe.

"Every time I think that we've gotten to a point where OK, enough is enough, something is finally going to be done, nothing is done," one man said.

The Boston Police Department is actively investigating Sunday's shooting. Anyone with information is urged to contact homicide detectives at 617-343-4470. Anonymous tips can be called into the CrimeStoppers tip line at 1-800-494-TIPS, or you can text the word 'TIP' to CRIME (27463).

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