In the early hours of Saturday, the echo of gunshots pierced the calm of a Boston neighborhood, sending shockwaves through the community.

Officer Michael Torigian of the Boston Police Department reported the incident: “At approximately 7:44 a.m., we responded to an urgent call regarding an active shooter situation at the junction of Blue Hill Avenue and Talbot Avenue.” In his statement, he revealed, “Seven victims have been shot and transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. We’ve secured the firearms in question and made necessary arrests.”

While investigations are currently underway, the immediate vicinity remains a hive of activity.

The unfortunate timing of the incident coincides with the scheduled Caribbean American festival in nearby Franklin Park. Last year, the festivities were marred by violence leading to one fatality and multiple injuries during the J’ouvert and Carnival Parade.

Addressing the seriousness of the issue, Boston City Council President Ed Flynn commented, “Today’s mass shooting highlights the gun violence crisis we are facing.” Taking to platform X, he further stated, “This is a public health & public safety emergency. [Boston police] continue to confiscate and recover guns at an alarming rate and now is the time to come together & develop a gun violence strategy in Boston.”

The Boston Herald has documented a pattern of violent incidents surrounding Caribbean festivals in both Boston and Cambridge over the years:

  • 2019: Two men faced off with firearms in broad daylight during Boston’s J’ouvert Parade. This led to the arrests of Michael Warner, 34, of Hyde Park, and Atunbi Bryan, 27, of Brockton. However, Police Commissioner William G. Gross clarified that this violence had roots in events separate from the main Caribbean Carnival Parade.
  • 2017: Two attendees of the Cambridge Caribbean Carnival were shot, sustaining non-life threatening injuries.
  • 2014: A tragic crossfire incident at the J’ouvert Parade in Boston took the life of 26-year-old Dawnn Jaffier. By December 2017, Keith Williams, 21, and Wesson Colas, 25, were held responsible for her untimely death.
  • In the decade leading up to this, several incidents marred the festivities, from fatal shootings connected to the Boston Caribbean Carnival in 2010, to a stabbing death in Dorchester park in 2008, and multiple stabbings in 2007.
  • Notably, in 2001, a chilling incident unfolded where Darryl Greene, 28, and Branden Morris, 24, were implicated in the killing of Terrell Gethers during Boston’s esteemed Caribbean Carnival.

While the community reels from the recurring violence, it is essential to remember the importance of unity and proactive solutions to address underlying issues. As the situation unfolds, we will continue to update the story.