Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Shooting Outside Islamic Society of Boston

From The Boston Globe

Aaron P. Stewart and his 13-year-old son were standing in front of their mosque in Roxbury Sunday afternoon when Stewart saw a man with a gun chase down a young man in the street, shoot him several times, and return minutes later and fire more bullets into his head.

''It was an assassination," Stewart said yesterday in an interview on Shawmut Avenue near the intersection with Williams street, the same place he was standing about 2 p.m. Sunday when Boston's 44th homicide of the year occurred. ''People were stunned."

The shooting took place as a youth instruction program at the Society of Islamic Brotherhood mosque was ending; about 30 men, women, and children were leaving the building. At the sound of gunfire, some of the children ran, crying, into Dayib Cafe, two doors from the mosque, witnesses said.

Police did not release the identity of the victim yesterday and are still hunting for a suspect.

Witnesses described the scene as disturbing.

A worker at Dayib Cafe, who asked that his name not be published because he feared retribution, said he was leaning against his car taking a cigarette break when he first saw the victim, bleeding from the right side of his head, walking down the street. Suddenly, the worker said, the shooter, who was wearing a red T-shirt, came up behind the wounded man and started firing.

He fired several shots into the wounded man, who fell to the ground. The shooter was standing within 2 feet of his victim and calmly started walking away, but suddenly returned to attack his victim again, the witness said.

''He came back and put two more [bullets] in his head," the worker said yesterday. ''I saw the guy walk in front of my face and [the shooter] kill him in front of my face. . . . It was unbelievable. I did not sleep last night."

The worker said one of the leaders of the mosque, Imam Abdullah, was sitting in a car on Williams Street with a member of the mosque who is an off-duty police officer from another state. After the gunfire, he heard the off-duty officer shouting: ''Where's my gun? Where's my gun?"

The worker said the imam and the officer then drove the wrong way on Shawmut Avenue chasing the shooter, who ran across Melnea Cass Boulevard and into a housing development.

They returned a few minutes later without finding the gunman, and the imam tried to help the victim, witnesses said. The imam could not be reached for comment.

Stewart said that at the sound of gunfire, he pushed his son into the doorway of the mosque. ''He was frightened," Stewart said.

The worker said children from the mosque who heard the shots, many of them crying, poured into the cafe and asked to call their parents.

According to two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation, the victim has been tentatively identified as a 27-year-old man with a criminal history who has previously lived in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Cambridge.

Spokesmen for the Police Department and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said the name of the victim was being withheld pending confirmation and notification of next of kin.

''The evidence suggests that the victim was targeted," said David Procopio, Conley's spokesman

I'm familiar with that area from my days driving a delivery truck. Apparently it is still a very bad section of town. Thank God no one, particularly the children, was hurt.

The reason I'm posting this however has to do with the fact that I had to read the article 3 times to convince myself that there was no actual significance to the fact it occurred outside the ISB other than coincidence. The Globe has had a history of writing PR for the mosque. Did my personal views color the intitial readings, or was there something about the article that gave the impression there was some intentional threat against the mosque? It could have been poor wording on the journalists part, but I'd like to hear what the rest of you thought.
papijoe 7:19 AM