Just before 18:00 hours on Saturday April 10th, Boston Police Officers assigned to District C-11 (Dorchester) responded to a radio call for a person shot in the area of 19 Olney Street in Dorchester. On arrival, officers located an elderly grandmother in her mid-seventies, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds that had torn up her body.
Boston EMS, EMTs, and Paramedics quickly arrived and began tending to her, attempting numerous life saving interventions while they transported her to a local hospital. Sadly, she succumbed to her injuries and was ultimately pronounced deceased. The victim has since been identified as Delois Brown, 73, of Dorchester.
Due to the nature of the incident, full notifications were made with the Homicide Unit, an overwhelming number of Command Staff members, District Detectives, Crime Scene Response Unit, and even acting mayor Kim Janey, all responding. The scene was processed with numerous spent shell casings as well as ballistic damage from the shooting being photographed.
Acting Mayor Janey could be seen attempting to navigate through her first Homicide Scene as Acting Mayor, clearly overwhelmed and emotional. She arrived quickly, before many others, and immediately began to talk with the neighbors, families, and residents of the neighborhood. She dogging cameras and questions, making the constituents her priority, not the press. Although many of the old-timers in the neighborhood were skeptical, saying they only saw politicians when the news cameras showed up, they did challenge Janey to come back another time when the press wasn’t there. It is unknown yet if that will happen.
During a press conference, Janey said, “It’s absurd that a grandmother can’t sit on her porch on a beautiful spring day without the worry of gunfire…” and she’s right. According to witnesses we spoke to, Brown was the unintended victim. She simply could not move away fast enough and get cover due to old age and physical limitations. As everyone else ran from the shooting, she was left in the middle of it.
District Attorney Rollins was also present, however she left just as quickly as she arrived. She has gained a lot of criticism over the comments she made during the press conference where she stated her Office will finally start to increase in their action taken towards crimes of this nature: “You need to hear me, that we are going to be prosecuting people that have guns, you will be sent away, and there will be no recourse for you. So we will find you and we will hold you accountable”.
Community members we spoke with about her comments were more annoyed than anything else, deeming what they saw to be opportunistic. A woman from the neighborhood named Teaira spoke to us about the frustrations she felt towards her elected leaders, stating “they only come when y’all [the press] show up. They should have been holding these kids with guns in jail already. But they don’t actually care about our neighborhood. We want to police here. We need them. We don’t want them coming to say sorry we just want them to protect us. My daughter was out here when it happened, she could be dead”.
The Boston Police Department is actively reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident and is asking anyone with information relative to this investigation to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives at (617) 343-4470. Superintendent in Chief Greg Long has assured the public that this was a targeted act of violence that tragically caught a bystander in the middle, and there is no ongoing threat to safety. Although some may argue that the ongoing and rapidly increasing number of gun related crimes are quite the threat.
Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to assist this investigation in an anonymous manner.