DA: Innocent man murdered in gang feud
A Mattapan man with no gang connections died in May because some of his gang-member neighbors killed a member of a rival gang two years earlier, a Suffolk County prosecutor said today.
Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum charged that Abiona Justice Sharpe, 20, and Damante Burrell, 16, drove down Wilcock Street on the May 22 anniversary of Terrance Jacobs' stabbing death determined to exact revenge.
Both are allegedly members of a gang on Havelock Street in Dorchester that had been feuding with the Wilcock Street gang - six alleged Wilcock Street members are currently awaiting trial for Jacobs's death. When Sharpe and Burrell saw some men standing on the street, Polumbaum said in Suffolk Superior Court this morning, Abiona and Sharpe opened fire, killing Fred Bing, 47. Officials say there is absolutely nothing to link Bing to the ongoing gang feud, except for having lived on the same street as some of the gangbangers.
Following the hearing, a clerk magistrate ordered Sharpe held without bail. Burrell had previously been charged with murder and is also in jail without bail.
Sharpe, Polumbaum said, fired a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle from the rear passenger seat, while Burrell leaned out the front passenger window and fired a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun over the top of the vehicle. Two other men in the vehicle have not been charged with Bing's death. In a statement, the DA's office said:
The shots sent pedestrians running for cover. Bing's friends, who escaped unharmed, thought that he had run safely from the scene; his lifeless body, however, was found early the following morning.
Of about a dozen rounds fired, three hit the older man. One struck him in the foot, one struck him in the thigh, and one struck him in the torso, traveling through his lung and killing him.
Alerted by the city's ShotSpotter system, police quickly arrived - and quickly stopped an Acura into which the four men allegedly got after fleeing the scene. Because police did not yet know a murder had happened, Burrell and one of the accomplices were let go. Another was charged with unlawful possession of ammunition, while Sharpe was arrested on a warrant for violating probation in Chelsea. After clearing that matter up, Sharpe fled - police caught up with him in a New Jersey apartment, hiding under a pile of laundry.
The DA's office says its evidence includes shell casings found at the scene, a gouge, apparently made by a gun, on the top of the mini-van, Sharpe's fingerprints on the rifle and monitoring data from an ankle braclet that placed Burrell near the scene around the time Bing was shot.
The two are scheduled for an Aug. 18 court appearance.