A 20-year-old Roxbury man is facing charges he opened fire near a schoolyard filled with children over the weekend.
Prosecutors allege Semaj Leary opened fire near the Trotter Middle School Sunday, causing children and adults to flee the area. Police were patrolling the area in response to recent gang activity when they saw the people fleeing from the schoolyard. Leary took off running. Police pursued him on foot though multiple fenced yards along Harrishof Street before losing him. Police would eventually find him hiding underneath a nearby Nissan Rogue.
A silver Cobra .380 was found along Leary’s path of flight, according to authorities. The gun was found to be jammed, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, with one spent round of ammunition.
An off-duty Massachusetts state trooper was at the scene of the shooting described two teens fleeing bicycles. A search of their path of flight turned up a second handgun that Boston Police seized as evidence, according to the DA.
Leary was arraigned Monday in Roxbury Municipal Court. He faced charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm as a subsequent offense, carrying a loaded firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
Leary was already out on bail for an earlier assault and battery case, which is scheduled to go on trial in June. He was ordered held without bail for the next 90 days. He would not to post $10,000 to be released after that.
“The nature of this apparent gunfight remains under investigation, but it had absolutely no place around a schoolyard crowded with children,”said Suffolk County DA Daniel Conley. “Every one of those kids deserves a safe place to play on a warm spring evening. The individuals who fired off multiple rounds in such close proximity to them put everyone at risk. But for the rapid response of Boston Police and the recovery of two firearms, a child or caretaker could have been badly injured – or much worse.”