Boston police are working to obtain a search warrant for a home in Mattapan near where five people were gunned down in the worst shooting rampage in the city in five years.
Police plan to search the home at 23 Sutton St., which is just around the corner from 40 Woolson St., where the five people were found early Tuesday, Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said. Four of the victims have died, including a 2-year-old boy and his mother; the fifth is in critical condition at a Boston hospital.
A group of uniformed officers could be seen posted late this afternoon in the front and the back of the building, a three-story beige multi-family apartment.
The slayings, which come during a spike of deadly violence in the city, touched off waves of anger from public officials and residents of a neighborhood already plagued by violence, the Globe reported today.
Law enforcement officials have told the Globe that they are investigating whether the shooting was the result of a drug-related encounter gone wrong. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case has said investigators believe the incident may have begun at the Sutton Street home.
Simba Martin, who was one of two men slain, lives at 23 Sutton. Martin's girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory, 21, and her son, Amani Smith, were also killed, along with Levaughn Washum-Garrison, 22. The fifth victim, Marcus Hurd, 32, is fighting for his life at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Hurd's stepbrother said today that Hurd had gone to Mattapan to buy marijuana, driving a Ford Explorer he had rented.
Two law enforcement officials confirmed that Hurd, while he was still conscious, said his vehicle had been stolen. Another official has said that Hurd also said that he had gone to the neighborhood to buy drugs.
Police have said they are searching for a gray or silver Ford Explorer seen leaving the area where the bodies were found Tuesday morning. Commissioner Davis said today that police have found a vehicle fitting that description but are not sure if it's the one they want and they're still searching for others.
“I think it was a setup,” said the stepbrother, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
He described Hurd, a construction worker, as a tall, strong, confident man who overcame a stutter and whose basketball skills earned him the nickname “the next Lebron James” among friends.
Relatives and friends have kept vigil around Hurd's hospital bed, whispering encouraging messages in his ear, the stepbrother said.
They are telling him, the step-brother said, "Everything is going to be all right. Hold on. You're strong. God is definitely looking out for you. Definitely."
Eyanna Flonory was described by her sister today as someone with dreams of becoming a police officer and stopping the violence on the streets.
Flonory "wanted to help young kids on the street. She wanted to stop the violence, everything," said her sister, Ebony.
Ebony Flonory said she spoke to her sister less than an hour before the slayings and her sister had put her son on the line to show that he had learned how to say his name.
"My name is Amani, auntie," Ebony Flonory recalled the toddler saying. "It made my day to hear it. He kept saying it and saying it."
Ebony Flonory said she believed that her sister was calling from Martin's home.
"I'm lost for words right now," she said.
Patricia Washum-Bennett, mother of Washum-Garrison, said she hadn't talked with her son since last May, when he moved out of their Roslindale home.
"We had disagreements over the direction he was going in, and I told him that if he lived here, he couldn't just come and go as he pleased, and that he had to get his GED," she said.
Washum-Bennett said that on Monday night, she had a conversation with a close friend, telling her that she felt like getting in a car and looking for her son.
"He hadn't called me or dropped by, so I was feeling like I needed to go look for him." She never went, and the next morning, she heard about the quadruple homicide on the news, not knowing that her son was one of the victims.
At about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, her husband called her, telling her that their son was one of the victims. "I just broke down," she said.
Friends recalled Simba Martin as a loyal, good-hearted person who returned to graduation at the Snowden International School in Copley Square to see former students and led a community organizing chapter at the school.
"This has been very devastating to us," said Najma Nazy'at, director of the Boston Youth Organizing Project. "He helped to turn a lot of people's lives around."
India Clark, a friend, said: "He was one of those rare people that could make anyone feel comfortable. He had a big heart. Words can't express how awesome he was."
"He was the uplifting one, always there to make everyone smile," said Tiana Brown, 19, who met him her first year in high school.
On the beat
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