Brighton shooting victim dies; suspect taken into custody after standoff

A Boston police officer cleared an area of Chestnut Hill Avenue during the standoff.
A Boston police officer cleared an area of Chestnut Hill Avenue during the standoff. –Byron Smith for The Boston Globe

An elderly man was fatally shot this morning in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood, and the alleged shooter continued firing when first responders arrived, holding police at bay in a tense standoff until a negotiator convinced him to surrender, police said.

Police responded to an apartment at 17 Ledgemere Road, near Ledgemere and Chestnut Hill Avenue, at 10:45 a.m. While they were evacuating the victim, more shots rang out, and a group of officers took up defensive positions in a basement apartment, said Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis.

“Gunfire emitted from the residence and [officers] did the prudent thing, which was take cover in the basement,’’ Davis said in a brief news conference this afternooon. The officers were able to protect Boston EMS workers as they evacuated the victim, police said this afternoon in a statement.

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The officers left the building later after a SWAT team made sure it was safe. A negotiator spoke with the suspect — who had a “cache’’ of arms and was legally licensed to carry one — for a little more than an hour before he agreed to surrender, Davis said.

The suspect, Randy Moore, 54, faces charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, police said. Authorities said they were withholding the name of the victim, a man in his late 70s, until his family could be notified.

It was unclear what relationship, if any, Moore had with the victim, but Davis said that it “does not appear to be a family situation.’’

Jennifer Mehigan, a spokeswoman for Boston Emergency Medical Services, said the gunshot victim was transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital from 17 Ledgemere at 11:20 a.m. in critical condition. The man died later at the hospital.

James Orsino, president of the union representing emergency medical technicians and paramedics at Boston EMS, described harrowing moments when EMTs arrived at the apartment.

Orsino said a shot was fired as an EMS crew was about to leave the building with the victim, forcing the crew — and police officers escorting them — to take cover in an apartment. The crew continued to provide aid to the victim.

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Then “the cops and the EMTs decided to get together and try to force their way back out again,’’ Orsino said. “They formed up. They headed back out — and another gunshot went off.’’

This time, Orsino said, the crew and the officers with them refused to retreat.

With police forming a circle around the crew, who were transporting the victim in a metal basket, they rushed out.

“It was courage under fire,’’ said Orsino. “Their concern was the patient the whole time. They decided they weren’t going to go back a second time because the guy was definitely going to die. They did not retreat. They went forward.’’

Dozens of officers swarmed the area near Ledgemere Road and Chestnut Hill Avenue after the shooting.

Most of the residences on Ledgemere, a cul de sac off of Chestnut Hill Avenue, are in the John J. Carroll Apartments, which are reserved for elderly and disabled tenants, according to the Boston Housing Authority.

“All we know is that someone got shot and we were told to evacuate as quickly as we could,’’ said Ron Harr, 54, a resident at the Carroll Apartments.

Harr and other Carroll residents interviewed today said they did not know who the shooter was or what the cause of the violence was.

The standoff drew a large crowd of neighbors and the media to the usually quiet area.

Leslie Harris said he was driving past Ledgemere Road around 11 a.m. when he heard three or four gunshots. “I thought it was fireworks,’’ said Harris. Moments later, heavily armed officers descended on the scene and Harris concluded something more serious was happening

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The MBTA dispatched one bus to nearby Wallingford Road to provide temporary shelter for elderly people being evacuated, officials said.

Police set up a command post at the Engine 29 firehouse on Chestnut Hill Avenue and instructed officers in the area to don body armor.

Chestnut Hill Avenue was closed from Chiswick to William Jackson Avenue. A State Police helicopter hovered over the scene. Police ordered a news helicopter to stay away from the area.

But at about 1 p.m police officers came out from behind cover, yellow police tape was taken down, and officials confirmed that the suspect had been taken into custody.

Moore will be arraigned Thursday in Brighton Municipal Court, a Suffolk district attorney’s spokesman said.