Saying he could very easily be planning several funerals for officers shot on last Saturday afternoon in Chester Square by a fleeing gunman, D-4 Capt. Steve Sweeney said the brazen daylight shooting has rocked the neighborhood and the police district.
The suspect fired on police several times as he fled down Massachusetts Avenue, and police returned fire as they were fired upon. Witnesses reported hearing as many as 20 rounds fired on what was a busy, sunny day in the neighborhood. No one was injured and the suspect was arrested.
“A big concern with the neighborhood is what happened the other day in front of 558 Mass Ave,” said Sweeney during an online meeting with Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association on Tuesday. “It’s still an active investigation. We are very, very lucky at D-4 that we’re not planning one or more officer funerals today. It’s been stressful for D-4 and the Commissioner has spoken about it and checked in with us. There have been drug use issues in Chester Square, but this really is nothing pertaining to Chester Square. It’s troubling to have that violence during the daytime and we’re on top of it.”
The incident has been followed up earlier this month with a shots fired incident on Lenox Street where 13 shots were fired on the street, with no one hit or injured. While crime has decreased significantly during COVID-19 in volume, criminal activity has become more brazen many neighbors said.
Bud Larievy, who lives on Massachusetts Avenue and is president of Washington Gateway Main Street, said he has noticed a great deal more open drug use than usual and other brazen criminal activity.
“Without the foot traffic, there is a sense of being taken over,” he said. “Some of it is shocking.”
On Wednesday, Carol Blair – president of the Chester Square Neighbors – announced that there will be a meeting of three neighborhood associations to address the situation, which she said was extremely troubling for the neighborhood.
“In this horrendous time, we’re doing our best to care for ourselves and each other,” she wrote. “But I’m not sleeping well and it seems most of us are more than a bit edgy. What do we say to Saturday’s shoot-out in Chester Square? What can we do? Together with Claremont Neighborhood Association and Worcester Square Area Neighborhood Association, Chester Square Neighbors has invited Boston Police to Zoom with us – a joint meeting with all three neighborhood associations and our elected officials.”
The incident on Saturday, May 16, took place around 2:13 p.m..
Officers from District D-4 responded to a radio call for a man with a gun threatening people in the area of 134 Northampton St. On arrival, officers observed an individual fitting the description of the suspect. When officers approached the suspect in an effort to speak with him, the suspect, refusing to acknowledge them, took off running down Massachusetts Avenue towards Chester Square. During the foot pursuit, the suspect produced a firearm and began firing rounds in the direction of the responding officers.
In fear for their lives, as well as the safety and well-being of community members in the immediate area, officers returned gunfire. Undeterred, the suspect continued firing his weapon until his weapon reached the lock-back position which occurs when a firearm is completely out of ammunition. After a violent struggle, one in which the suspect continued fighting with the officers, the suspect was placed in custody. No injuries were reported at the scene. Several of the responding officers, however, were transported to an area hospital for evaluation purposes.
The suspect, Tyler Brown, 40, of Boston, was arrested and charged with Assault with Intent to Murder, Discharging a Firearm within 500 Feet of Residence/Dwelling, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm and Feeding Device.
• Off Duty Officer Stops Car Break
At about 4:08 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, an officer assigned to D-4 made an on-site arrest in the area of East Dedham Street between Albany Street and Harrison Avenue.
The officer was exiting the rear of the police station parking lot onto East Dedham Street after finishing his tour of duty when he observed an unknown male rummaging through the passenger side of a construction truck.
Upon seeing the officer, the suspect, later identified as Jeffrey Bliss, 38, of Boston, quickly exited the passenger side of the truck and ducked down. Bliss dropped a black computer bag on the ground and attempted to flee the scene.
The bag contained various paper work (none of which was in the suspect’s name) along with a construction company laptop worth $2,000. It was revealed by several construction workers that the suspect did not work for any of the construction companies on site. The victim took possession of his property on-scene.
Bliss was arrested and charged with Breaking and Entering a Motor Vehicle (Day).
• Arrest Made for Delivery Truck Break
At about 3:53 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, officers assigned to District D-4, responded to a radio call for a fight in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Washington Street.
Officers spoke to the victim who was making a work delivery, when he observed the suspect, later identified as Alexander Fedele, 24, of Somerville, in the back of his delivery truck.
When the victim confronted Fedele, he ran down Massachusetts Avenue with the victim’s cell phone in his hand. Officers quickly apprehended Fedele in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street and recovered the victim’s cell phone.
Fedele was positively identified and placed under for Breaking and Entering a Motor Vehicle (Day) and Larceny under $1,200.00.