A 19-year-old CVS employee died last night after a suspected shoplifter stabbed him and another CVS employee and then fled into the Longwood Medical area, launching a dragnet that the killer eluded even as police dogs combed the corridors of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The stabbing victim was the fourth homicide victim in Boston since Friday -- three of them teenagers -- and the 10th of the year.
"It's been a horrible weekend for the city and for the victims of these senseless acts," said Boston police spokeswoman Mariellen Burns, adding that Kathleen O'Toole, the newly named police commissioner, was very concerned about the violence. "From a law enforcement perspective, there's no pattern. But that's little consolation to the victims or to their families or to us," Burns said.
At about 9 p.m., the CVS employees became suspicious of a man in a red puffy jacket and black hat. The employees confronted him on the sidewalk outside the store at Brookline and Longwood avenues, police said. The suspect stabbed them and fled.
Willard Massie, a Beth Israel radiology employee, told WBZ-TV that he came upon the injured men and tried to help. "One was lying on the ground, blood coming out of his mouth, the left side of his neck, and the other guy was holding his neck, letting it go, holding his neck, letting it go. I gave him my, I guess, head piece to put on there to hold pressure and he stopped breathing so I started doing chest compressions on him and he came back, so he was breathing again."
The suspect managed to enter the Shapiro Clinical Center, which is attached to Beth Israel.
"Apparently the suspect did run in and escaped again," said Jerry Berger, hospital spokesman. Police sealed off the Shapiro center, where only after-hours cleaning staff were on hand until they were evacuated so police could conduct a floor-by-floor search.
The building is closed and doors are locked after 6 p.m., Berger said, so it was not clear how the suspect managed to get in and then escape.
A law enforcement official said police found a red jacket and hat they believe belong to the suspect. They were studying surveillance photos from the CVS last night.
The second victim, 32, was in stable condition at a hospital that police declined to name.
A spokesman for CVS had no comment on the stabbing last night.
"I currently cannot give any information on what happened tonight because we are still gathering information at this time," said Todd G. Andrews.
Police combed the area around Beth Israel and Children's Hospital, which is located along the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Green Line E train route. However, MBTA police said they had not been called in on the search.
The wild scene in the medical area capped a day when the T police pledged to move 35 officers to be based in the Dudley Square bus station after 15-year-old Shawn Adams was fatally stabbed near there Saturday. Mourners gathered at a makeshift memorial yesterday to pray and appeal for an end to the violence that has recently racked the city.
Adams was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant Saturday evening at the Dudley Square bus station as he headed to a movie with friends. Then early yesterday, police said, a 22-year-old man was shot in the back on Tonawanda Street in Dorchester. The man, whose name was not released, was expected to survive.
T police officials announced plans to create a substation at Dudley Station with about 35 transit police who are now dispatched out of headquarters. The officers would be responsible for several stations in the area along with the Silver Line and guarantee a constant presence at the station. A single police officer assigned to Dudley was responding to another call at Ruggles Station when Adams was stabbed shortly after 6 p.m.
"It's impossible to say" whether Adams's death could have been prevented had an officer been at the station, said MBTA deputy chief Thomas McCarthy at a news conference. The agency is also considering installing closed-circuit television to help monitor the busy station.
McCarthy said he does not know when the substation would open. Three months ago, a man was killed and four others injured when a gunman opened fire at the Dudley station.
Just two blocks away, by an ever-growing pile of teddy bears and roses marking the spot where Adams collapsed, people welcomed the pledge to increase police presence. They also prayed that the violence would stop. About 1:30 p.m. an impromptu prayer session was held with 10 mourners. Laila Yasin, a lawyer whose children lived through the violence of the early 1990s when murder rates spiked over 100, addressed the group.
"I hope there is not a return to violence," she said. Next to her, a man opened a prayer book and read aloud as a tall boy with a hooded sweatshirt sobbed inconsolably and clutched hands with Adams's cousin.
Police have made no arrests in the case. McCarthy said that Adams and his friends "were good kids on the way to the movies. We don't know why these things happen."
Meanwhile, police were also investigating the drive-by shooting death of 18-year-old Lance Brown, who was killed Friday afternoon outside a Mattapan grocery store. Leads were also being sought in the Friday death of Betsy Tripp, 50, who was fatally stabbed Friday at her Dorchester condominium. A companion of hers, Morris Thompson, was also injured and yesterday was listed in fair condition at Boston Medical Center.
Meanwhile, the family of Lucas Canuto, 22, who was shot in the chest in Dorchester's Fields Corner at 2:30 a.m. Sunday, requested that no information be released about his condition. He was reported to be in critical condition two days ago at Boston Medical Center. Boston police said the unidentified 22-year-old shot yesterday on Tonawanda Street was in stable condition at the medical center.
(Globe correspondents Jared Stearns and Stephanie Vosk contributed to this report.)