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Youth is fatally shot in Roxbury

Second teenager seriously wounded

One teenager was fatally shot, and another was seriously wounded in two separate midafternoon shootings on Boston streets yesterday.

The victims, who were not identified by police, were taken to Boston Medical Center, where one, who police said was 18, died about 7 p.m. Officials said they did not know the condition of the other victim.

Last night, at a makeshift memorial of a dozen lit candles and a stuffed dog at the scene of the fatal shooting, a relative and a friend identified the victim as Cedric Steele.

"My little cousin is gone," said a man who would only identify himself as a relative of Steele.

Angel Navarro, a friend, said he came to know Steele by hanging around the neighborhood and playing basketball at a court near the shooting scene.

"He always had a smile on his face," Navarro said.

The fatal shooting occurred just before 4 p.m., as Steele stood at Highland and Centre streets in Roxbury. He was going to visit someone in the area when he was struck multiple times by gunfire, police said, adding that as many as nine shots were fired. Witnesses said he was shot by someone in a group of youths who walked up to him and then fled on foot.

Police investigating the shooting placed more than a dozen orange cones around the street corner as they photographed evidence and questioned possible witnesses at the nearby Timilty Middle School.

Rosalind Battle, a teacher at the school, said she did not think twice about what she thought was gunfire until the shooting disrupted the dismissal at the extended day school.

"It's so sad," Battle said yesterday from the middle school steps, staring at the crime scene about 30 yards away. "You try to prepare [students] for the real world, so they don't end up in situations like this."

Police said the shooting was not related to the school.

Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, who came to the scene, said police would "redouble our efforts to try to take somebody into custody."

Yesterday, Solomon Tadesse was watching a movie in his apartment nearby when he heard the shots.

"I went out for a cigarette and saw all the cops, and then I saw the shooting was for real," Tadesse said. "I thought, how does this happen? It's usually a very good neighborhood."

About 80 minutes later, another man was shot in the face in front of 481 Columbia Road in Dorchester. The man is expected to live, and the two shootings are not related, police said.

Linda Mitchell had parked her car outside the building and ran upstairs to get a coat. She returned to her car about 10 minutes later to find the victim on the sidewalk next to the vehicle, bleeding from the left side of the face. As emergency personnel assisted the victim, Mitchell saw a bullet hole in the front hood of her Pontiac.

She reflected on her luck in going back for a jacket. "I just thank God that I did," Mitchell said.

On the other side of Columbia Road, police loaded a bicycle into the back of a police cruiser. Witnesses said the shooter was riding a bicycle before firing in the direction of the building.

Although Mitchell has lived in the neighborhood for more than three years, she said yesterday's violence made her consider moving. "These kids, I don't understand what's wrong with them now," she said.

Relatives and friends of the victims gathered outside the emergency room of Boston Medical Center yesterday, some weeping. As the crowd grew, so did the number of police officers standing watch.

There are no suspects in either shooting, police said. The death in Roxbury marked the 12th homicide this year, compared to seven at this time last year, police said.

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