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Man is fatally shot on Mattapan street

Residents fed up with gang activity

By Matt Collette

Globe Correspondent / September 22, 2008

Residents of Wilmore Street in Mattapan saw four people shot on their one-block-long venue last year. Some neighbors' cars were struck by rogue bullets earlier this summer, neighbors said.

Fed up with what they described as persistent gang violence, they formed a neighborhood crime watch, which met for the first time Thursday night. Then, early yesterday, their resolve was challenged whena 20-year-old man was shot multiple times outside 14 Wilmore St.
The man, whom police did not identify because his family had not been notified, died of his injuries at Boston Medical Center.
He was the 44th homicide victim of the year, compared with 49 homicides at this time last year, said Officer Eddy Chrispin, a Boston Police Department spokesman.
"The kid who got shot here last night, no one knew him. He's just a kid from the outside," said Laureen Leonard, 48, a mother of three. Leonard, who attended the crime watch meeting, said she heard three gunshots about 2 a.m. yesterday and called 911.
Wilmore Street, Leonard said, is a conduit for gang members. She said her residential street is a heavily trafficked shortcut between Norfolk Street and Blue Hill Avenue, often used late at night by teens and young adults.
Wilva Mark, 57, Leonard's landlord, said the gunshots woke her up. She walked onto her porch and saw the victim lying in front of her house, but no one else nearby.
"I saw nobody. There was no vehicle, no people running on foot," she said.
Mark said she has lived on the street for 27 years and did not recognize the victim.
Sunday afternoon, many neighbors were getting back to life as usual.
Adults listened to music and talked in a driveway while a group of boys played football in the street as younger kids sat on the curb, watching.
"You see where that little boy is sitting, those stains on the ground?" asked Robert Martineau from his front porch. "That's where the guy got shot. It's like nothing had happened."
Martineau, 48, said he grew up on Wilmore Street. After attending college, he moved to California, where he worked in construction.
He moved back to Wilmore Street in April, and says the street is not the same one he grew up on.
"This was my neighborhood, and now I don't even recognize the place," he said.
Residents say their crime watch group will continue to meet, in their own homes, on the first Tuesday of the month.
"We'll have the place cleaned up and keep all this out," Mark said.
In the evening of March 30, 2007, a man walking along Wilmore Street from Norfolk Street was shot in the leg by the man he was walking with and suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.
On July 14 of that year, a 9-year-old girl was shot inside a three-decker house at 11 Wilmore St. and two teenagers were found shot outside the home, where a party had been taking place.
Police barricaded both ends of Wilmore Street to investigate the late-night shooting, which sent all three victims to the hospital with serious injuries.
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