A glorious day in Dorchester is interrupted by gunfire
It was a glorious day in a quiet Dorchester neighborhood. Taking full advantage of the benevolent sun, a woman went outside to do her homework. A man picked at weeds in his garden, and another woman was walking home from the grocery store with a carton of milk.
Then gunfire erupted at about 1:45 p.m., striking two Boston police officers and leaving a suspect on the loose.
“I saw him firing,” said one woman, who said the shooter raced past her. “He was running and shooting.”
A few blocks away, near Florida Street, Denise, who was walking upstairs to her apartment with her milk, heard the shots and instinctively ducked. Too stunned to think of what else to do.
“It was loud and forceful. It scared the bejesus out of me,” said Denise, who like numerous people interviewed, did not want to be fully identified because of fear of reprisals.
This is a neighborhood that takes pride in itself. The clean-swept streets sandwiched between Dorchester Avenue and Florida Street — such as Edwin, Shepton, Monsignor Lydon — display that sense of pride.
Begonias hang from upstairs porches, and pink roses wrap around newly-painted white rails.
Trouble does not live here, neighbors say.
But today helicopters buzzed overhead. SWAT teams swarmed the area. A quartet of officers, including one armed with a semiautomatic rifle, could be seen going yard to yard searching for suspects.
“I’ve been living here for 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Joannee, a Shepton Street resident. “I’m really upset by this.”
Many just heard the gunfire. Some residents said they heard four gunshots; others said seven or eight.
Some residents were only beginning to learn about the shootout in their area and were stunned that it would happen in broad daylight on a quiet afternoon.
“We have kids who play here. One of them could have been shot,” said Venus Tolliver, a local minister. “To know that this could happen in our backyard makes me wonder what kind of world we live in.”
In her lush garden, sheltered by a canopy of trees, Rae Aguilar stood in blue, red, and yellow rain boots watering two nascent rose bushes.
With officers nearby, she felt safe enough to come outside. But still she was worried.
“I don’t know how this happened,” Aguilar said. “Maybe I should feel scared.”
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