New details emerged this afternoon about Saturday's murder of a 14-year-old teen, who was shot on a Boston basketball court as he and a 16-year-old friend prepared to go shopping for Mother's Day gifts.
The mother of the 16-year-old said this afternoon that her son and Jaewon Martin were long-time friends who had often played on the Parker Street court where the shooting took place without any problem. She said that another of her sons, an 11-year-old, was at the court but left before the shooting.
Martin and the 16-year-old were chatting with some girls when a man walked on to the court and started shooting without provocation. Martin ran up the basketball court, but collapsed to the ground, fatally wounded, said the woman, Tamara, who would only give her first name. Her son was hit in the chest and arm, but not seriously hurt.
"I guess he feels like more of a man to shoot at anyone he sees,'' the mother said, describing the shooter. Tamara asked that her sons' names not be published because of the ongoing murder investigation. "You don't know kids from gang bangers!''
The mother, who attended a community meeting at the Bromley Health housing development this afternoon, added, "I just want to pack up my kids and get out of here.''
Martin was an eighth grade honors student at the James P. Timilty Middle School in Roxbury.
Earlier today, Governor Deval Patrick disclosed that he had spoken with Martin's mother.
?What I said to her is something I think we?re all feeling,? Patrick said. ?It?s not the order of things that you bury your own child -- that a child who is doing right and is playing on the streets would be the victim of a random gunshot is not acceptable. And there are a lot of causes for this, and a lot of solutions. But certainly one of them is controlling the flow of guns.?
At a press conference at Boston Police Headquarters late this afternoon, Mayor Menino, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Police Commissioner Edward Davis vowed to catch Martin's killer as they announced changes to police deployment plans.
Police said Martin was not a member of a gang, nor did he have any criminal history as a juvenile.
Police are targeting "impact players'' in the neighborhood and will be searching, citywide, for people with outstanding arrest warrants, a move often undertaken to target violent criminals.
There will also be a "significant increase'' in police patrols in the neighborhood and community service officers, among others, will be handing out brochures on how to provide anonymous tips to police.
Relatives told the Globe on Sunday that they are stunned by the attack. Today, Ruby Steele-Morris, the slain boy's aunt, attended a community meeting at the Bromley Heath development, where she made an emotional appeal for anyone with information to share what they know with authorities.
"It's a shame, it's a disgrace that people will not stand up and be men and women of integrity and say what they saw,'' she said. "Someone saw what happened to Jaewon.''
Also today, Boston Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson was at the Timilty this morning when students returned to the school for the first time since Martin's killing. Grief counselors were also on hand, and will remain at the Roxbury school for the rest of the week, officials said.
"Today is really a day for grieving,'' said Matt Wilder, a spokesman for the school district.
Martin was on the honor roll at the Timilty, where his family was active in the school's life, Wilder said.
"There are some parents who, for whatever reason, they send their kids to school and that's it. But this family was active in what was going on at the Timilty,'' Wilder said.
"They are well recognized to the school staff and other students. It just makes it harder.''
Wilder said Johnson spent the first part of the morning at the school. He said grief counselors are also at the school so the students can find an adult to talk with if needed.
Patrick mentioned reaching out to the family today, when he was asked at an unrelated news conference about gun-control legislation he has sponsored.
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