'She Was Too Young': Mourners Remember Mother Of 3 Killed By Stray BulletPlay
A vigil was held Wednesday night for a Boston woman who was shot and killed late Tuesday while walking through a local park.
Everyone knew Grizel Sanchez as "Chichi." The 31-year-old was born in Dorchester and lived her whole life just a few blocks from Puddingstone Park, where she was fatally shot.
It was 10:30 that night when Sanchez and two friends went for a walk to buy cigarettes. They took a shortcut through the park.
Franchez Cruz, a longtime friend of Sanchez, heard what happened from one of the friends who was there.
"As she was walking down, she yelled at her friends, 'Get down! Get down!' All three went [on] the ground. Chichi said, 'I got hit! I got hit!' And she was just covered in blood," Cruz explained.
A single bullet hit Sanchez in the chest. She never got up.
You could still see the blood in the path through the park where friends and family members left flowers and photos of Sanchez and lit candles at an evening vigil.
"She was too young. She had three beautiful children. She had all these nieces and nephews," her sister-in-law, Christina Vasquez, said through tears. "She was amazing. She was so fun."
Murder Rates May Be Down, But Shootings Have Risen
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh came to pay his respects, saying he was sending prayers to the family and that it was "painful" to come to the vigil.
The mayor also announced the renewal of a gun buyback program Wednesday. A similar program last year took 385 guns off city streets.
"If you know that your loved one has a gun in the house, contact us, the police department, so we can come and take the gun," he said.
Sanchez was the city's 16th murder victim this year — almost half as many as this time last year. But the number of shootings is up, according to police.
Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans said he believes the guns are coming from out of state.
"I just read last week Maine all of the sudden gave people permission to carry without a permit," he said. "When other states have laws that aren't as strict as ours, then the flow just is never-ending."
At least three shots were fired near Puddingstone Park. Two bullets were found in the walls of an apartment across the street. Commissioner Evans believes they were fired by kids chasing one another.
"A lot of these young kids think this is a video game, basically, where they can shoot people and maybe they bounce back to life," Evans said. "That's something we have to teach these kids: Life's precious."
Evans is asking the public for help in finding those who killed Grizel Sanchez. She leaves behind three children: two sons, ages 11 and 14, and a daughter who is 13 years old.
This segment aired on July 30, 2015.