Boston’s antiviolence “miracle” of the 1990s may have symbolically ended last week when police found four young men fatally shot in a homemade recording studio, the Washington Post reports. Next door lives Eugene F. Rivers III, a minister credited with helping create the “Boston Miracle” partnership. That program, which included police, clergy, and community groups, was credited with keeping Boston relatively safe.
Now, as funding has dried up and an influx of guns and teenagers has changed Boston’s neighborhoods, the city’s extraordinary peace seems to be eroding. Boston officials are quick to point out that their city of about 589,000 has far fewer problems with violence than others its size. The homicide total that has everyone so worked up here — 71 to date — is a far cry from that of Washington, D.C., which has had 190 killings this year. By Boston’s standards these are frightening times. The homicide total is more than double what it was six years ago. Shootings have been rising steadily since 2003; at last count they were up 38 percent over the same time last year. This year has been marked by shootings that put bystanders at risk: One shattered the window of the City Council president’s passing car, a car-to-car gun battle sprayed bullets near fifth-graders in a schoolyard, and another shooting occurred in a crowded public library.