Boston police have arrested two males in connection with a shooting that occurred during the Caribbean Festival parade in Boston. The gunfire injured eight people, all of whom suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to authorities. The shooting, which took place just before 7:45 a.m., was unrelated to the festival itself.
During a press conference, Boston officials expressed their concern over the violence and emphasized the need to separate the incident from the festival. Similar incidents have occurred at previous Boston Caribbean Festivals, resulting in fatalities. Several other individuals were also arrested on gun and assault charges at or near the festival.
One of the suspects, identified as 21-year-old Sebastian Fernandez, was shot in the leg during the exchange of gunfire. Fernandez sought help from the police and was treated with a tourniquet before being taken to a hospital. He has since been arrested and is currently under guard at the hospital.
The other shooter, described as a male wearing a black hooded shirt with white writing and black sweatpants, fled the scene and was later apprehended by officers on Westview Street. A pistol was allegedly found in his possession. The 17-year-old suspect, a resident of Dorchester, was arrested for firearm possession, while his involvement in the shooting is still under investigation.
The preliminary investigation suggests that the shooting occurred on the outskirts of the parade, and it appears to have been the result of an altercation between two groups. Boston Police Commissioner Dennis Cox condemned the violence, stating that it showed a complete disregard for human life and endangered the lives of hundreds of people attending the festival.
Mayor Wu expressed her concern that the shooting would negatively impact the reputation of the Boston Caribbean Festival, which she described as a critical part of the city’s social infrastructure and a significant economic benefit. Shirley Shillingford, president of the Caribbean American Carnival Association of Boston, apologized for the violence and emphasized the family-oriented and peaceful nature of the event.
Police have recovered firearms and continue to investigate the incident. Charges against the two suspects are yet to be determined. Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Caitlin Fitzgerald highlighted the ongoing efforts to combat gun violence in the community.
The Boston Caribbean Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary, proceeded with its second parade as planned, despite the cancellation of the first parade due to the shooting.