At about 3:05 AM on Monday, July 5, 2021, an officer traveling on Seaver Street observed what appeared to be a shooting in the area of Happy Super Mart. A large crowd had gathered in the parking lot of the closed store and the park across the street, setting off fireworks and partying into the early morning before the gunshots were fired.
The officer was driving through the area after hearing gunshots when he observed the chaos that was unfolding, and immediately leapt into action. He was heard radioing a request for backup and additional units as well as EMS and Detectives to his location.
While managing the scene he also gave out a suspect description to units for a possible shooter. He arrived on scene and located an adult male who had sustained a gunshot wound and was then subsequently struck by a blue minivan and was pinned under the vehicle.
While trying to secure the crime scene and manage the unruly crowd, it became immediately apparent that the victim was dead and that any rescue attempts would be in vain. Boston EMS arrived soon after and they pronounced the victim on the scene, with all rescue personnel from fire being canceled.
The intersection was shut down in all directions, and the crime scene continued to grow as more evidence was to be located. In addition to the victims body under the minivan, a massive bloody drag mark could be seen stretching from the parking lot, into the street and then back into the parking lot. Roughly ten spent shell casings were also recovered in the investigation along with boxes of illegal fireworks that covered the median of the road, empty bottles, discarded cups, and other evidence.
Full notifications were made, with the Homicide Unit, Command Staff, and BPD K-9 team responding to the scene as well. Due to the unique nature of this incident, the FCIT group, short for Fatal Collision Investigation Team, was also called to the scene to identify if the bullets or car were actually responsible for the victim’s death. Just to be safe, pending the Medical Examiner’s findings, having these experts on scene would ensure that no piece of evidence would be missed.
Investigators combed the area for evidence for hours, photographing, collecting, swabbing and mapping the scene. Additional units in the form of EDTs from outside districts were called in to cover 911 calls since district units unable to clear from the scene. MBTA buses were rerouted and traffic was diverted out of the area.
The area was closed for an additional almost two hours after investigators finished processing the scene, as Boston Fire struggled to extricate the victim’s body from under the vehicle. As the Medical Examiner’s staff waited, Firefighters attempted to free the mangled corpse from under the car. The body was finally taken to the ME’s Office, and the scene was hosed down by Fire, washing the blood, brain matter and tissue from the roadway, parking lot and sidewalk.
No political figures or city officials were seen at any of the crime scenes across the city, a sobering reminder of the disconnect between City Hall and the communities that suffer the most from the violence; ones usually comprised of minorities and lower income residents. The only reminder of these failed leaders came in the form of the Acting Mayor’s campaign signs. This most recent incident is the latest violent and senseless murder, which has, ironically, occurred just days after City Council and the Acting Mayor refused to accept a grant for the BRIC and stonewalled additional funding for Operation Shot Stopper. They safely slept in their beds, insulated from the harsh realities that their poor policies have helped foster, while another individual lost their life. Of the people shot on the night of July 4th, three including a homicide, occurred within less than a mile from the Acting Mayor’s house on Copeland Street, yet she was no where to be found.
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. According to the Department at a press conference on scene, no arrests have been made, no suspects names have been released and no further information is available at this time. The victim of this horrific crime has now been identified as Joshua Smith, 29, of Milton.
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. To those who find themselves in need of emotional support or simply needing to talk to someone about distressing events in our community, the Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) provides free, private support 24/7 at (617) 431-0125 or by visiting BPHC.org/trauma.