BOSTON Police intensified their probe Wednesday into a shooting that killed four people, including a 2-year-old boy, and left a fifth person critically wounded, while grieving relatives also sought answers to one of the city’s deadliest slayings in years.
Police secured a search warrant for a home on Sutton Street in the city’s Mattapan neighborhood, spokesman Eddy Chrispin said, but he could not confirm whether officers had begun searching. It’s around the corner from where the shooting victims – some naked – were found after neighbors reported gunfire about 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Driscoll could not immediately confirm reports that one of the victims lived at or was staying at the home police planned to search. She said investigators were looking into the possibility that the shootings were drug-related.
“It’s a theory that we are pursuing, but we don’t have a specific motive at this point,” she said.
No arrests had been made as of early Wednesday night.
Family members confirmed the identities of some victims, whose names had not been released by authorities. Among them were Eyanna Flonory, 21, and her 2-year-old son, Amani Smith.
“Anyone who’d shoot a mother and a 2-year-old child is crazy,” Eyanna’s grandmother and Amani’s great-grandmother, Delorise Flonory, said at the family’s Brockton home Wednesday.
Flonory said her granddaughter, whom she had adopted and raised as a daughter, was not involved in drugs or other crimes.
“She was getting her life together. She had never been in trouble,” said Flonory, adding that Eyanna had been attending college and wanted a career in law enforcement.
Eyanna Flonory’s sister, Ebony, said she spoke to her Eyanna about an hour before she was fatally shot and heard Amani say his name to her for the first time.
Flonory’s family visited the shooting site, said prayers and left stuffed teddy bears during a candlelight vigil Wednesday.
Eyanna Flonory was living with her boyfriend, 21-year-old Simba Martin, who also was shot dead, her sister said.
Patricia Washum-Bennett said her 22-year-old son, Levaughn Washum-Garrison, was also among those who died.
Washum-Bennett said her son, a high school dropout and the father of a 1-year-old girl, had left the family’s home several months ago to “find himself” and she had not seen or talked to him since. On Wednesday, she left flowers at the scene of the shooting.
“He’s in a better place,” Washum-Bennett said.
The wounded man, identified by relatives as Marcus Hurd, 32, remained in critical condition at a Boston hospital.
Police Commissioner Edward Davis said he was “happy with the progress” of the investigation but indicated that no major breaks in the case were imminent.
The Boston City Council observed a moment of silence in memory of the victims at the conclusion of a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, said Councilor Charles Yancey, who represents the Mattapan district.
Yancey said residents of the neighborhood feel unsafe, but he urged residents not to abandon their homes or neighborhoods because of the acts of a few people who “terrorize” the community.
“It’s a natural human reaction when that type of catastrophe happens on your street,” he said. “The ones I have talked to are very fearful, very concerned and somewhat confused.”
The shooting is part of a rise in violent crime in Boston. The city had recorded 50 homicides before Tuesday’s shootings, compared to 40 through the same period a year ago.
The shooting was the deadliest in Boston since December 2005, when four young men – including three members of a rap group – were fatally shot in a makeshift basement recording studio in the Dorchester neighborhood. Two men are serving prison sentences in connection with that shooting.