A jury has found a former reverend and Boston Public Schools employee who preached a message of anti-violence guilty of shooting a 17-year-old boy in the head.
The verdict was reached Thursday morning in the trial of Shaun Harrison, a day after deliberations began. He was found guilty of all charges and faces sentencing Friday at 9 a.m. The lead charge of armed assault with intent to murder carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in state prison.
Harrison, 58, of Roxbury, allegedly shot the teenage student in the head three years ago, nearly killing him.
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Now 20 years old, Luis Rodriguez testified in court two weeks ago about the night in March of 2015 when Harrison shot him in the back of the head as they walked the streets in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood.
The incident was captured on surveillance video.
"I get up right away, and my first instinct was to apply pressure to the wound, so I stuck my fingers in the bullet hole," Rodriguez said.
At the time, the now 58-year-old Harrison was working as a dean with troubled students at Boston's English High School. But prosecutors claim he recruited Rodriguez to sell marijuana for him.
"This defendant presented himself as a man of faith dedicated to helping young people," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said. "Instead he exploited his position to earn the trust of vulnerable youth and prey on them."
In court, jurors were shown cellphone video of a fight in which Rodriguez was involved at English earlier in the day. He said he went to see Harrison that night to talk about what happened, and that's when he said Harrison shot him from behind.
Prosecutors said Harrison was displeased with the victim's drug sales.
Rodriguez said Harrison took off after the shooting, so he ran into the street and stopped a passing motorist for help.
"I'm asking him, 'Am I going to die? Am I going to die?' He goes, 'Calm down, calm down, you're losing too much blood," Rodriguez testified.
Rodriguez said he spent 12 days in the hospital. He broke his jaw, suffered nerve damage and lost part of his hearing as a result of the shooting.