Toddler, others shot in Mattapan massacre
As the fatal shootings of four people — including a toddler — shocked, startled and scared a Mattapan neighborhood, religious and city leaders tried to hold together the community as best they could following the bloody massacre.
“As far as safety is concerned … it’s not about geography anymore,” said neighbor Monique Browne, adding that she expects the violence to continue. “Now-adays it’s wherever you go.”
The quintuple shooting sparked a rallying cry from local clergy, who urged city officials to increase and better their response to the climbing homicide rate.
“No one should ever feel unsafe where they live,” said the Rev. William Dickerson, who was joined by other clergy leaders near the shooting scene.
Counselors and other workers from the city’s public health commission, as well as street workers, offered support to those near the shooting scene.
“We can’t let people hold these communities hostage,” said Chris Byner, head of the city’s Streetworker program.
Hours before a vigil was held last night, hundreds packed a prayer service at the Morning Star Baptist Church.
“Mattapan is strong and will not let them hide,” said Mayor Thomas Menino. “We’ll not allow you to poison our city.”
Relatives and friends of the victims fell to the street crying when they got to the scene. One victim’s girlfriend had to be placed on the seat of a car.