Gang member shot in car on Massachusetts Avenue

Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans addresses the press as the scene of what he believes was a gang shooting is investigated at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Huntington Avenue. / Photo by Riley Robinson

By Maggie Dolan, city editor

A well-known gang member was shot in his car just after 8 p.m. Monday night near the corner of Huntington Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue. Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said in a press briefing that the victim was taken to Boston Medical Center and is in critical condition.

“The individual in the car is well known to our officers,” Evans said. “We believe this is a gang-related shooting. We had one individual shooting at the other in the car and they were sort of going at it, ramming each other as they went down Mass Ave.”

Evans said witnesses reported the conflict began near Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue, spanning several blocks before the victim crashed into a parked car. Police closed off the Massachusetts Avenue and Huntington Avenue intersection for several hours. They believe the second car was a dark SUV, which they have not yet identified. Evans said police found several bullet casings on the street and were searching for more, but they do not know whether the victim shot back.

Northeastern University Police Department also responded to the incident. They tweeted several updates throughout the evening, assuring students that the shooting was never a threat to campus.

Northeastern second-year journalism major Asia Palomba and journalism graduate student  Brandon Carusillo were crossing Newbury Street when they heard a gunshot, shortly followed by four more.

“I immediately knew what it was and I looked at Asia and said, ‘Run,’” Carusillo said. “We didn’t even question it, and sure enough as we started to run four more were fired.”

Carusillo said they were two of the first people to react to hearing the shots, and while most people ran, some were stunned and did not know how to react. Palomba said she saw people around her running from the scene.

“I remember looking to my right and there were these two women coming out of T.J. Maxx with shopping bags,” she said. “I remember them starting to scream and then they were running right in front of us.”

Palomba said they returned to the scene of the incident a few minutes later, where police had responded and they saw a crashed car.

“It was all blocked off with caution tape,” she said. “And from the corner that we had crossed where we thought the shots were coming from, there was a crashed car and there were two police cars surrounding it.”

Massachusetts Avenue has since been reopened.

Evans said he believes the victim is in his early 30s, and he and Mayor Martin J. Walsh are concerned about the number of guns on the streets accessible to young people. He said it is lucky no one else was hurt as the cars feuded down the crowded street.

“We’re just fortunate no stray bullets hit anyone,” Evans said. “It’s troubling. We try our hardest to prevent this stuff, but unfortunately when people who have turf war run into each other it can happen anywhere, and that’s why it took place up here.”

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