One Dead, Multiple Injured – Annual Caribbean Festival Yet Again Brings Violence and Bloodshed to Boston

The long awaited full-fledged Boston Caribbean Festival including the J’ouvert and Carnival Parade returned Saturday after a two year hiatus. Celebrating its 49th anniversary, the festivities did not disappoint with thousands gathering to celebrate starting around 02:00 hours Saturday morning and lasting late into the following night. But the darker side of the Caribbean Festival also returned with numerous shootings, stabbings and other incidents occurring throughout the celebration. Boston Police confirmed that there were at least four separate incidents of people shot during the celebration as well as at least two people stabbed and numerous calls for large fights.

The Caribbean Festival has long been associated not only with brightly colored costumes, soca music, entertainers, vendors, dancing, but also with bloodshed and loss of life. Last year, 17-year-old Javare Sommerville was stabbed to death during the J’ouvert at the intersection of Blue Hill Ave and Columbia Road. The year prior in 2020 during an unsanctioned and unofficial Caribbean festival, which the city had canceled due to Covid, a man was shot multiple times in the same area of Blue Hill Ave and Columbia Road.

On Aug. 24, 2019, two men exchanged gunfire in plain view of officers at Boston’s J’ouvert Parade. Police arrested Michael Warner, 34, of Hyde Park and Atunbi Bryan, 27, of Brockton in Dorchester in connection with the shooting. In 2017, two men were shot — one in the foot, the other in the leg — at the Cambridge Caribbean Carnival. On Aug. 23, 2014, Dawnn Jaffier, 26, was shot in the head when she was caught in the crossfire of two rivals with gang ties at the J’ouvert Parade in Boston. In December 2017, Keith Williams, 21, and Wesson Colas, 25, were convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the youth mentor’s killing.

In 2010, three parade watchers were shot, one of them fatally, in connection with the Boston Caribbean Carnival. In 2008, a man police believed to be attending the carnival was found stabbed to death in a Dorchester park. In 2007, four people were stabbed as they attended festival-related events. On Aug. 25, 2001, Darryl Green, 28, and Branden Morris, 24, were accused of fatally shooting Terrell Gethers at Boston’s annual Caribbean Carnival. They were indicted on first-degree murder charges by a Suffolk County grand jury in June 2006. In 1993, seven people were shot during the carnival. Police blamed feuding gangs. This pattern of violence did not end this year either. Below is the full breakdown of the bloody day’s events…

August 27, 2022 06:45 Hours- Person Shot

Right as the J’ouvert began to move off Talbot Ave towards Blue Hill Ave Officers in the midst of the chaos reported hearing multiple shots ring out as the crowd quickly began to scatter in all directions. Officers attempted to ID who the shooter was but in the thick, drunken and chaotic crowd, they were unable to do so. Soon officers were told that a person had actually been shot in the crowd. As they searched for a victim, officers were informed that someone was driving the victim to the hospital in their own car, a dangerously dumb and risky move. 

Officers followed the vehicle from the festival location through Dorchester, into Roxbury and eventually to Methadone Mile where the woman driving then finally stopped the car in the driveway of Boston EMS, less than a minute away from the hospital. Boston EMTs transported the man who was shot in the left arm/shoulder to Boston Medical Center and he is expected to make a full recovery.

It is unclear why the woman did not yield to police, pull over, or stop when officers caught up to her; however, she is lucky to not have caused a serious accident with her reckless and troubling behavior. On her race to the hospital she almost caused multiple accidents, one of which was when she almost hit our own photographer’s parked car. The man’s injuries were described as non-life-threatening, it is unknown at this time if the woman will face charges for her negligent and reckless operation of a vehicle. At this time, no arrests have been made.

August 27, 2022 09:10 Hours- Person Stabbed

Just as the J’ouvert came to a close at the top of Blue Hill near the Franklin Park Zoo, Boston Police Officers and Boston EMS responded to the area of 10 Monponsett Street in Hyde Park for the reported person stabbed. The victim was found by officers stabbed at least once with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Boston EMS transported the man to a local area hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery.

Detectives investigating the incident confirmed that the stabbing actually had occurred during a fight at J’ouvert in the area of Blue Hill Ave and American Legion Highway. The victim had been attacked by a group of people who were also attending the celebration and eventually the man was stabbed before he was able to flee the area on foot. No arrests have been made at this time. 

August 27, 2022 12:35 Hours- Person Stabbed

Right as the Carnival Parade began to prepare to step off, Boston Police Operations received a call from the Carney Hospital that a patient had just self presented with injuries consistent with a stabbing. Emergency Department Staff worked quickly to stabilize the victim who is now expected to make a full recovery. The victim told officers who responded to the hospital that the incident had taken place while participating in the celebratory festivities in the area of Talbot Ave. At this time, no arrests have been made.

August 27, 2022 13:50 Hours- Person Shot

A little more than an hour later, another person self presented to the Carney Hospital, this time with injuries consistent with a shooting. Yet again, the doctors and nurses quickly stabilized the gunshot victim, who is now expected to survive. Detectives and officers responded to the hospital and the victim told them the same as the victim an hour earlier, that they were shot while participating in the Caribbean Festival activities in the area of Franklin Field and Talbot Ave. Again, no arrests have been made in relation to this incident.

August 27, 2022 15:10 Hours- Person Shot

Shortly after 15:00 hours, Boston Police Officers from District B-2 and E-13 responded to the area of Columbus Ave and Academy Road for reports of shots fired near where a Carnival block party was occuring. On arrival, officers were directed to the area of Weaver Court inside of the Academy Housing Project to help an adult male who had been shot at least once. Officers immediately rendered aid to the man who appeared to have been shot in the abdomen.

Boston EMS quickly arrived on scene and stabilized the man before transporting him to a local area hospital. Detectives were called to the scene and began investigating the incident. According to sources close to the investigation, the shooting appears to be gang related. Additionally, the incident was captured on camera with the footage clearly showing the suspect commit the act and then flee, possibly onto an MBTA bus which also has a security camera. No arrests have been made at this time; however, we expect an arrest will be made sooner rather than later. No further information is available on this incident. 

August 27, 2022 17:40 Hours- Person Shot and Killed

Boston Police said the shooting happened at about 17:40 hours Saturday in the area of 970 Blue Hill Ave at the intersection of Blue Hill Avenue and Westview and Stratton streets next to the Franklin Field Housing Projects. The victim, a 31-year-old man, was found in a car which was parked in the Las Americas Market. According to law enforcement sources, the man and a group of others had been celebrating since the early morning in the same lot.

When officers arrived, they found the man critically injured and immediately began to render aid. Boston EMTs and Paramedics then tried to save the man’s life while transporting him to a local area trauma center; however, he was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said an officer was in the area when the shooting happened and was able to get a suspect and vehicle description however he was unable to stop the suspect before they fled. A crashed car was found nearby on Hansborough Street; however, police have not confirmed that it was involved. In addition to the officer’s observations, sources close to the investigation tell us that the entire murder was caught on police and store surveillance cameras in the area. At this time no further information is available and no arrests have been made. 

Community members wishing to assist in any of these investigations are strongly urged to contact the Boston Police Department. It can be done anonymously 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.