Davis: 'Beyond outraged' by brazen shooting of tot

Police Commissioner Edward Davis issued the following letter to "the residents of Mattapan and Dorchester" today regarding last night's shooting of a four year-old boy at Harambee Park.

Dear community members,

Last night on June 27, 2011 at approximately 9:20pm, officers responded to a radio call for a person shot at Harambee Park ( Talbot Ave and Wales St .). Upon arrival, officers learned that a shooting incident had resulted in the injury of a 4 year old boy and a 24 year old male. The child was rushed to Boston Medical Center and he is currently listed in stable condition. The 24 year old male received a graze wound and was treated at Carney hospital.

Boston Police investigators have been receiving tips from witnesses and continue to appeal to the community for assistance. Information developed from witnesses indicates that a male approached the area on foot and fired his weapon. Investigators continue to canvass the area to develop a more specific description of the suspect or suspects involved in this heinous act.

I am beyond outraged by the brazen nature of this incident and sickened by the total lack of regard for human life that led to the injury of this small child. As a community, we must come together and hold these violent suspects accountable for their wanton and reckless disregard for the safety of the public.

I would like to inform all of you of a list of initiatives that are ongoing by the Boston Police Department in partnership with city agencies:

* Community members will immediately experience an increased uniform presence in the area of Harambee Park , Blue Hill Ave , Talbot Ave and Franklin Field.
* The Safe Street Team along with Specialized Units will be on patrol and engaging with neighbors and local business.
* The CrimeStoppers Unit is proactively engaging neighbors by distributing anonymous Text-A-Tip pamphlets and keeping residents informed of ongoing efforts.
* The Neighborhood Crime Watch Unit is canvassing the area and encouraging individuals to take part in Neighborhood Crime Watch efforts. If you are interested in starting or joining a Crime Watch, you are encouraged to call 617-343-4345.
* The patrol force is closely monitoring the activity and whereabouts of known gang associates.
* Boston Police are utilizing all resources available to us to eliminate the gang and drug element from the area. You will continue to see updates on this effort on our public safety blog, BPDNews.com. You are also encouraged to connect with us via Facebook and Twitter to stay informed.
* Officers are closely collaborating with Streetworkers to strategize on problem-solving initiatives. In addition, the Boston Public Health Commission will also be canvassing the area and engaging residents about ongoing concerns.
* The Boston Regional Intelligence Unit (BRIC) along with our state and federal partners are laser focused on the profiles of specific targets in the area known to be engaged in violent behavior.
* Command staff in conjunction with the BRIC are exploring the expansion of surveillance cameras.
* Officers are also focused on ‘nuisance’ issues such as the activity surrounding motorbikes in the community. Officers have developed a strategy to address this issue and enforce concerns relative to driving to endanger, unlicensed/unregistered and its overall contribution to disorder. If you have any information about a nuisance issue related to motorbikes, please contact CrimeStoppers with a tip. The number is 1-800-494-TIPS.

Please remember that together we put the ‘Community’ in community policing. We depend on everyone’s participation and continued dedication to ensuring a safe neighborhood. We would like to express our concern for the victims of last night’s incident as well as our resolve to secure justice. Investigators spent last evening with the family of our 4 year old victim at the hospital and we wish him continued recovery.

If you have any information about the incident that occurred last evening, I urge you to come forward and contact homicide detectives at (617) 343-4470.

Community members who wish to assist the investigation in an anonymous manner should call CrimeStoppers at 1(800) 494-TIPS or text the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police will stringently protect the identity of those who wish to remain anonymous.

Best regards,

Police Commissioner Ed Davis