A devastating incident unfolded in Mattapan, Boston, as a 12-year-old boy succumbed to a gunshot wound on Thursday afternoon.
The shooting occurred at a residence on Fessenden Street, a quiet side street located near Walker playground and an elementary school. The incident was reported shortly after 2 p.m., and authorities have confirmed that the shooting took place inside the home.
Late Thursday night, Boston police announced the arrest of a 22-year-old man, Walter Hendrick of Mattapan.
He faces charges including improper storage of a firearm accessible to someone under the age of 18, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition. Hendrick is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday morning in the Dorchester division of Boston Municipal Court.
The name of the victim has not been released, and details about his family remain undisclosed. The shooting was reported by a woman residing on the second floor of the building, who called 911 to report that her son had been shot in the chest.
Expressing his dismay at the tragedy, Police Commissioner Michael Cox described the death as an unnecessary loss and urged residents to surrender any firearms they may have in their homes. As of Thursday evening, the death has not been officially classified as a homicide.
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden commented that it was too early in the investigation to determine whether the shooting was accidental. However, he assured the public that there is no perceived threat to public safety at this time.
The tweet below verifies the news:
— The Report App (@TheReportApp) July 14, 2023
Amid the ongoing investigation, life continued in the neighborhood on a hot summer evening. Residents in the vicinity were shocked by the incident, with some stating they were unaware of the tragic event that had unfolded just a few blocks away.
Boston has seen an increase in homicides this year, with 20 reported so far compared to 13 during the same period last year. In response to this latest tragedy, Mayor Michelle Wu expressed her condolences, emphasizing that no family should have to experience such grief.
City officials and councilors called on residents to take action in safeguarding children and preventing access to firearms. They urged parents and family members to secure legally owned firearms and turn in any illegal ones.
This devastating incident follows a recent shooting in Mattapan after a Fourth of July celebration, where five people were injured. The death of the 12-year-old boy highlights the ongoing issue of gun violence in the neighborhood, emphasizing the urgent need for community efforts to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
The tragic loss of a young life underscores the deep pain and devastation experienced by the community. It serves as a reminder that the death of a 12-year-old due to gun violence should never be considered normal or acceptable.
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