For families, the level of violence means changing routines.
“I can’t even take my kids outside,” said one Grove Hall man. “When I take them outside I have to put them in a car and take them somewhere. All it has to do is hit home. . . something happen to my family and I’m gone.”
Leaving the neighborhood, however, is not economically feasible for most. And even those who leave come back regularly, to friends, family and to institutions, like churches, that don’t flee to the suburbs.
Earlene Montgomery, whose Blue Hill Avenue church was shot up last month, has lived on Donald Road for 25 years. Three years ago, after she was mugged outside her home twice, she and her family picked up and moved to Westwood.
Montgomery said that if a church had been shot up in Westwood—indeed, if someone had written grafitti on a house of worship there—it would cause a scandal.
“Crime in Dorchester and Roxbury is taken too lightly,” she said the other day. “There’s an attitude that says, ‘Well, those people are just shooting up themselves.’ “
Montgomery’s church has a street ministry and wants to reach out to the younger people in the community. Before the church was shot up, the congregation had planned a night of music and entertainment for young people. That night has been put on hold while the church tries to provide security for the evening.
“We had never thought about security before the shooting,” Montgomery said. “I mean, we’re a church. We’re not going anywhere. We can’t run from the devil. We just have to be more careful.”
ONE AREA, ONE MONTH: GUNS TAKE THEIR TOLL
Circled numbers locate incidents
mentioned in story.
1. Oct. 1—9:30 p.m. Javaugh Sweed of Island View Drive is shot in the cheek on Shawmut Avenue near Sawyer Street.
2. Oct. 1—11:30 p.m. Charles Hill Jr. arrested for possession of a sawed- off rifle at Winslow Square and Zeigler Street.
3. Oct. 3—8 p.m. Shots fired through the window of a home on Spencer Street.
4. Oct. 3—8:59 p.m. Leon Hemingway is shot in the right arm by unknown assailants on Horan Way.
5. Oct. 3—10 p.m. William Peete, 27, of Talbot Avenue, is shot and killed in Manny’s Place, a Talbot Avenue bar. Charles Peete, 25, his brother, is treated for a gunshot wound to the back. Several men are arrested in the killing.
6. Oct. 5—8:15 p.m. William Simmons of Claybourne Street is shot in the left side of the neck on Bataan Court.
7. Oct. 5—8:30 p.m. Louis Miranda of Evelyn Street is shot in the leg on Ames Street.
8. Oct. 5—9:15 p.m. Shawn Williams of Creston Street and Antonio McQueen of Columbia Road are shot at Intervale and Normandy streets by unknown assailants.
9. Oct. 6—12:30 a.m. Four shots are fired at Dexter Lambert of Kennebeck Street on Annunciation Road.
10. Oct. 6—8 p.m. Shots fired from passing car at Mattapan funeral home as mourners gather to honor a 20-year-old reputed street gang member, Reginald Finklea, who was shot to death earlier in the week.
11. Oct. 6—8:10 p.m. Robert Browning of Washington Street is shot in the shoulder on Bataan Court.
12. Oct. 6—8:30 p.m. Antonio Jerimiah, 18, Brockton, is shot in the leg in the courtyard of the Franklin Hill housing project.
13. Oct. 6—9:45 p.m. Shots hit the Blue Hill Revival Center, Blue Hill Avenue, as a church meeting is going on. No one is injured. Bullet holes in the structure of the building are found.
14. Oct. 6—9:45 p.m. Billy Molyneaux, 15, Wabon Street, is killed by a gunshot to the head as he rode his bike on Hansborough Street in Dorchester. He was carrying a loaded .25 caliber. Sources who knew him said he was carrying it not to shoot it but to protect himself.
15. Oct. 7—1 a.m. Two shots fired at Boston police crusier on Jewish Veterans Drive.
16. Oct. 7—1 a.m. MBTA police report six to nine shots are fired at a cruiser and the right fender is hit in the area of Blue Hill Avenue and Harvard Street.
17. Oct. 8—1:45 p.m. Edward Pitts is shot in the groin on Bataan Court.
18. Oct. 8—3 p.m. Owner of a building on Callender Street, allegedly used as a crack house, is confronted by a man pointing a semiautomatic Uzi at him and threatening to “blow his head off.” The standoff ends and no one is hurt.
19. Oct. 9—3 p.m. Two alleged drug dealers armed with guns invade a home on Mora Street, kicking in the door and holding the resident and her 13-month old baby at gunpoint while they search in vain for her son, who owed them money. After the woman says she will pay the debt, the men leave threatening to come back and “kill everyone in the building” if the debt isn’t paid.Continued...