At approximately 19:25 hours on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, District B-3 (Mattapan) officers responded to a report of shots fired in the area of 20 Ellington Street in Dorchester. Boston Police Operations reported receiving at least two separate 911 callers reporting hiring between 10 to 12 rounds fired.
Officers quickly arrived on scene and began to canvas the area for evidence of a shooting as well as any possible victims. While officers were searching the scene, Operations also advised them that another 911 call had been received for a person with a gun running from the area of the shooting towards Blue Hill Ave and Columbia Road.
As more officers arrived and the search for victims or evidence contained, a juvenile male victim suffering from at least one apparent gunshot wound was located in the area of 48 Ellington Street. An officer can be heard in the recording below calling for EMS with a push for a “juvenile male”.
Boston EMS EMTs, Paramedics and supervisors all began to respond to the scene. Officers without hesitation, jumped into action, starting CPR and rendering aid to the young man. The video below shows a uniformed officer tirelessly doing chest compressions as Gang Unit and Boston Firefighters also assist. Normally Boston Fire does not respond to shootings however, after clearing an accident only a few streets over, firefighters jumped in to help with the rescue efforts on scene.
Boston EMTs and Paramedics quickly arrived and the boy was loaded onto a stretcher. A paramedic could be seen hanging off the side of the stretcher continuing compression as the boy was loaded into an awaiting ambulance. Boston EMS transported him to Boston Medical Center where medical staff valiantly attempted to save his life however their attempts were sadly unsuccessful. He was pronounced disced shortly after arriving.
The supervisor on scene made full notification, alerting District Detectives, the Homicide Unit, the Crime Scene Response Unit, Command Staff, the District Attorney’s Office and others that their assistance would be required at the scene. Additionally city-wide EDTs were activated and Officers from across the City’s multiple districts responded to the area to assist. Officers and investigators could be seen marking evidence, speaking to neighbors and witnesses, and searching the area.
Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said at a press conference at the scene Wednesday night that, “I’ve probably been to over a 100 of these types of scenes over the course of my career and they never get any easier and they really strike home and strike home hard.”
Hayden continued to say. “One homicide in our city is one too many — they’re all tragic. But when it happens to someone of tender years, when it happens to a young teenager, that obviously strikes right at the very heart and right at the very fabric of our communities and our children… As with every investigation, we will do everything we can within our power to solve this and bring whoever unfortunately gunned down this young man to justice,”
In a rare and surprising turn of events, Mayor Wu also appeared at the press conference where she gave a short and jumbled statement of support. Wu had seemingly broken with the long-standing tradition of Boston Mayor’s visiting scenes to show their support to these communities during acts of violence. Wu on the other hand had rarely visited any crime scenes, something that many have criticized citing her only interest in crime reduction and these neighborhoods during election season.
Dorchester resident and community activist Jonathan Lopes told us, “she only shows up when it’s a kid or it’s a white person in Southie or downtown, Walsh used to be out here with us almost every time, sometimes I would see him even when it was just like shooting with nobody hurt. That was a real Mayor. It’s clear that the poor and minority communities only matter when it comes to getting out votes. The least she could do is make it less obvious.”
Earlier today, Starsha Groce, the mother of the victim Curtis Ashford Junior, 15-years-old from Dorchester, identified her son as the victim in multiple interviews with Boston area media. Ashford had just turned 15 less than two weeks earlier. Groce said in one interview, “He told me he was at the court playing ball with his friends and I told him to make sure to be home by 8 before the lights come on and he texted me back ok and next thing you know I’m getting a call that my son is hurt. Literally minutes from the house.”
Groce went on to plead for the public’s help, “Anything you have, please reach out to me or the police and please help the person that did this to my son come to justice. That’s all I’m asking.” She went on to say, “Justice for my son, please, please. Any answers, anything. Please reach out to the police, don’t try to do anything on your own, or anything like that, on my behalf. I appreciate it, but just please just reach out to them and hopefully we will get justice for him.”
In May of 2008, Curtis Ashford Junior’s father, Curtis Ashford Senior was stabbed and killed in South Boston. At that time his father was 24 and living in Roxbury. He was stabbed multiple times in the chest, neck and abdomen at about 11 p.m. on East Eighth Street in Southie after friends say he tried to stop a fight at the Old Colony projects between a man armed with a knife who was attacking one of his friends. Later in August of the same year, Boston Police announced the arrests of three men in connection with the fatal stabbing.
Edward Holloman, of Lynn and Edward Mendez of Jamaica Plain were both arrested on charges in the 2008 murder. Darren Hemingway of Brighton was charged as an accessory after the fact. Holloman plead guilty to second-degree murder and is serving a life sentence; Hemingway also pleaded guilty and served a two-and-a-half year sentence as an accessory after the fact. Mendez also eventually plead guilty to charges of manslaughter and subsequently sentenced to 18-20 years.
As of today, Boston Police have confimed that no arrests have been made in the investigation into Curtis Ashford Junior’s murder and that the investigation is still open on ongoing. The Boston Police Department continues to actively review the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is strongly urged to contact Boston Police Homicide Detectives at (617) 343-4470.
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 help this investigation in an anonymous manner.
If you find yourself in need of emotional support or needing to talk to someone about distressing events in your community, the Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) provides free, private support 24/7 at (617) 431-0125 or by visiting BPHC.org/trauma.