How do you heal emotional scars?

Ralph Myrthil didn’t know the victims of last week’s quintuple shooting in Mattapan. It didn’t matter.

The seven-year Woolson Street resident saw the naked and bloodied bodies of the victims shortly after the 1:12 a.m. shooting.

“I see them, and I was shocked. I was confused. I didn’t know where exactly I was,” Myrthil said yesterday morning, adding he is frightened by the constant crime in his neighborhood. “At night time, I am scared to walk on foot in this area.”

The possible traumatic effects from the shooting are what brought out social workers and members of the city’s public health commission to the neighborhood just hours after it occurred.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the executive director of the health commission, said workers knocked on doors to try to connect residents to city services they may not know about.

“It would impossible not to be affected by this,” said Ferrer, who joined the mayor and police commissioner knocking on doors last week. “That has to be frightening for children and young teens. It’s going to create a lot of anxiety and a lot of worry for the residents.”

At-large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who helped organize a hearing with victim’s families this summer, has also called for a pair of related hearings – one about coping with trauma and the other for agencies to let residents know what services are available.


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