Two Men Charged; Held Without Bail in Back Bay Shooting

On Tuesday afternoon, Boston Police D-4 officers arrested two individuals after responding to a call that shots were fired near Fairfield and Newbury Streets in the Back Bay at about 3:54pm.

According to the police report, officers were told that two possible male suspects were seen running down Newbury Street towards the Boston Common, and witnesses told officers that the men were seen heading down a public alley between Commonwealth Avenue and Newbury St.

“Officers were directed to Public Alley 434 where they observed two males matching both suspect descriptions running in the alley, towards Public Alley 437. Officers entered Public Alley 437, where they were able to detain one suspect, identified as Rashawn Bly, 24 years old, from Boston,” the report stated. Officers were granted roof access on a building, where they saw a male laying on the ground in the yard of 24 Commonwealth Avenue, matching the description of the second potential suspect. The man was identified as 23-year-old Walter Coleman, also of Boston.

The report states that a black firearm was found in a closed recycling bin at the back of 173 Newbury St., also known as Public Alley 434. “The firearm, a Baretta 9mm was found to be in the “lock back” position, with the slide fully extended backward,” according to the report.

A witness told officers that gunfire between Bly and Coleman, as well as two other unidentified individuals, was observed. Ballistic damage to vehicles was also discovered by officers in the area reported by the call.

Both Bly and Coleman were charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, firearm discharged within 500 feet of dwelling, two counts of assault with dangerous weapon, and each were charged with several other charges as well.

Bly and Coleman were arraigned on October 28 and held without bail, pending a dangerousness hearing on Wednesday November 4, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Elliott Laffer, Chair of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, called the incident “unusual, but not unprecedented.” He said that he “appreciates the work of the police in apparently finding the alleged perpetrators quickly.”

Laffer said that if there was any good news from the situation, it was that the most damage was done to property and that nobody was hurt.

“We don’t think that this is a reflection of a safety issue in the Back Bay,” he said.

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