Prosecutors added a murder charge to gun charges already filed in the killing of Dawnn Jaffier. The 26-year-old woman, who worked at JP’s Hennigan School as part of the Boys & Girls Club, died after being shot Saturday at a parade in Dorchester.
On Monday, officials charged Keith Williams, 18, of Boston, with her shooting death.
Jaffier was struck in the head, her father told media. She was at the corner of Blue Hill Avenue and Charlotte Street watching the J’ouvert Parade, which is part of the day-long Caribbean Carnival.
“Some might say she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was not,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley during a Monday afternoon press conference at Boston Police headquarters in Roxbury. “She had every right to be on Blue Hill Ave. on a beautiful Saturday. She had every right, just as every child in the city has the right, to watch a parade without putting themselves and their lives at risk. It’s an outrage that someone would fire their handgun repeatedly down that street.”
Prosecutors, police and Mayor Marty Walsh stressed that despite the murder charge being brought, the investigation continues. They called on anyone who witnessed the incident or knows background on it to contact police.
Police Commissioner William Evans said investigators are looking at a gang connection as a possible motive for the shots being fired along the busy parade route. The gunfire erupted despite police presence at the parade.
“It shows you something about how brazen these kids can be,” Evans said.
Another young woman was hit in the leg by one of the rounds three blocks away from where Jaffier fell.
Police detained three young men who ran from the area where the shots were fired about 8:17 a.m. on Saturday. One of them turned out to be Willliams, who was charged with unlawful possession of a gun and ammunition. Williams pleaded not guilty to the murder charge on Monday, according to the Globe.
Walsh told members of the press he met with Jaffier’s family earlier on Monday. The family showed her a selfie Jaffier took of herself, two friends and the mayor just weeks before her death. They’d been at an event for City Year, the service organization where Jaffier worked after graduating from UMass Amherst.
“Though violence is down, shootings are down,” the mayor said, “this weekend we lost a young woman who was in the right place for her to be, as the DA said it, and she lost her life from somebody taking a shot. The senseless violence in the city of Boston has to stop.”
Witnesses are asked to call Boston Police homicide detectives at 617-343-4470. Anonymous tips may be called in to 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting “tip” to CRIME (27463.)