Boston Shootings Up 30%; Mayor Seeks New Strategy

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The number of people wounded by gunfire in Boston is up nearly 30 percent this year, prompting an urgent City Hall meeting today to brainstorm solutions ahead of the sweltering, often violent summer months, the Boston Herald reports. Police already have deployed most of the class of 53 newly graduated officers to Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan to combat gang-fueled gunplay. Mayor Martin Walsh has called police brass, community leaders, clergy and department heads to today’s meeting. “It’s a strategy meeting, changing the strategy of what we’ve done so far,” Walsh said. “My concern is that there are people shooting each other. My concern is one loss of life is too many. My concern is that there will be potentially innocent people that get caught in a drive-by.”

Boston police say that 123 people were injured by gunshots as of July 4 this year. During that same period last year, 95 people were shot. Gun murders are roughly even — 21 this year, compared to 22 through July 4 last year. “If you have a high number of shootings before the summer begins, they will retaliate throughout the summer. Police need to be more vigilant because the summer has just begun,” said state Rep. Russell Holmes. “My biggest concern is we seem to show up after the shootings. We do peace walks after it happens,” Holmes said. “We really need to be addressing the tip of the spear, addressing gang members in advance.”

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