In Lower Mills meeting, Evans pleads with public for tips in shooting probe

Lower Mills public safety meeting on Nov. 10, 2014: Image courtesy Rep. Cullinane's officeLower Mills public safety meeting on Nov. 10, 2014: Image courtesy Rep. Cullinane's office

Neighbors looking for answers in an Election Day shooting outside of Lower Mills Library received few new details about the ongoing investigation less than a week after the incident, which left a 30 year-old victim fighting for his life in a Boston hospital.

At the Monday night meeting, more than 200 residents, from Lower Mills and beyond, gathered in the St. Gregory’s Auditorium for a discussion on the recent violence in the neighborhood, hosted by State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, State Rep. Dan Cullinane and Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans.

Evans had few new details to give to the crowd, but reiterated that the shooting was not random. He said that an argument precipitated the gunshots that seriously injured Keldon Liverpool. It is not clear whether Liverpool, who was walking up the Richmond Street sidewalk between CVS and the Lower Mills Library, was involved in the argument or not.

Evans pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.

Keldon Liverpool: Still in serious condition a week after shooting. Keldon Liverpool: Still in serious condition a week after shooting. Liverpool was shot in the head just before 5 p.m. last Tuesday at the edge of the CVS parking lot on Dorchester Avenue and Richmond Street. As of Monday night, Liverpool remains in serious condition at Boston Medical Center and is unable to speak to investigators, Evans said.

Billed as a public safety meeting, many in attendance told the Reporter they saw it as an opportunity to learn more about the shooting outside of Lower Mills Library. Some were confused and alarmed by a Fox 25 report on the shooting that aired last Wednesday night. The TV report repeatedly characterized the shooting as random and featured a Boston Police detective who stated that the victim did not appear to be confronted or accosted prior to the shooting. Liverpool’s wife was also featured in the report asking for anyone with information to come forward.

Dorcena Forry said that the meeting, organized by the elected officials last week, was in response to the “misinformation and miscommunication following initial reports that the shooting was random.”

Evans, with five members of Boston Police brass including Area C-11 Captain Richard Sexton and B-3 Captain Haseeb Hosein, sought to clarify the Wednesday evening Fox 25 story, which Evans acknowledged scared a number of community members.

“We were trying to make an emotional appeal,” he told the crowd.

Evans talked about the department’s main concern, which is to identify the cause of the shooting to then determine whether or not retaliation will take place. Officers are studying surveillance tape taken from the CVS parking lot and other areas to attempt to identify any potential suspects, and continue to urge community members to come forward with any information.

Evans called Election Night a “crazy night” for police with the flare-ups of violence across the city, including the two shootings on Dorchester Avenue, followed by a double shooting in Charlestown the next day that resulted in the death of a 17 year-old teenager. He added that after a quiet summer, the city has seen 30 fewer shootings than this time last year.

The Lower Mills shooting was only part of the reason the electeds called the meeting, as well as to bring the community together to address other concerns of violence in the area, opening the discussion up beyond the confines of Lower Mills to include areas as far up Dot Ave as Ashmont, which sees its fair share of violence at the T station.

Some became visibly frustrated at the meeting, with some expecting a more open dialogue between law enforcement and the community. Community members’ questions ranged from police response to whether the neighborhood sees fewer officers on patrol following an incident in another part of the city.

At one point, Tom Maistros, an Adams Street resident, interrupted the elected officials speaking, who included City Councillors Ayanna Pressley, Charles Yancey, and Frank Baker, shouting from behind the 10 rows of seats, “I thought this meeting was about what we could do, and you haven’t told us anything!” Many in the crowd applauded.

Nearly half the attendees had left by the time the hour-and-a-half-long meeting finished.

After the meeting, Maistros called the last week “disconcerting,” adding that at tonight’s meeting, the elected officials gathered “weren’t here to listen to us or tell us what’s going on.” Maistros said he attended the meeting to find out more information about the shooting and what, if anything, the neighborhood could do to help.

“I hope that this meeting is the beginning of a dialogue taking place across the neighborhood,” said Ann M. Walsh, a Lower Mills resident.

Two civic association leaders spoke at the meeting–Myrtle Huggins of Apple Grove in Mattapan and Mike Skillin of Lower Mills. Both urged those who turned out at the meeting to attend the monthly civic association meetings where community members can have more frank discussions with police officers.

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