A young man from JP admitted in court Monday that he opened fire at crowded Forest Hills Station, wounding two women.
Superior Court Judge Peter Krupp sentenced Reginald Price, now 19, to seven years in prison with five years probation. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 10 to 15 years.
The shootings took place just before 2 p.m. on Jan. 26 as the busy transit hub was filled with commuters. The case did not go to trial because Price pleaded guilty, but prosecutors laid out evidence for what they would have argued in front of a jury.
Price, whom prosecutors said is a gang member, had gotten into an argument earlier that day, according to a timeline from Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Megrian. Price left the station but came back with "an associate" and resumed the argument with a man prosecutors say was from a rival gang.
Two men from the rival gang joined the dispute, which escalated into Price firing wildly with a pistol. While he did not hit any of his targets, two of the bullets struck innocent bystanders.
One, a 24-year-old, suffered a graze wound to the head. A 62-year-old was hit in the abdomen by one of the shots.
"We sometimes hear that victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time," District Attorney Dan Conley said in a press statement. "But a subway station isn’t the wrong place and the middle of the afternoon isn’t the wrong time. These two women had every right to be where they were without being shot at."
Another young man was also charged in the incident, though prosecutors did not mention him by name in a Monday press release on Price pleading guilty. Nicholas Bootman of Dorchester, who like Price was 18 at the time of the shooting, had also been charged with several counts of assault and battery plus gun charges. Once we know where his case stands, we will provide an update.
After the shots were fired, the two young men ran to the nearby Southwest Corridor Park. Boston Police, having heard a description of the suspects from Transit Police, made the initial arrests, prosecutors said.
The bystanders told the court on Monday that the gunfire destroyed their sense of safety.
"I have confronted feelings of deep anxiety, fearing that I will be hurt again or that family members or loved ones will also be the victims of undeserving and unprovoked gun violence," the 24-year-old, whom prosecutors did not name, told the judge. "I hope that whatever time he serves will center around serving others, improving the community, learning about alternatives to violence, reflecting on how to help, rather than hurt, those around him."
The older woman, who spent six days in the hospital and still has a piece of the bullet in her body, gave written testimony to be read in court.
"The wounds and internal injuries to multiple organs have left my body weak and unable to perform many daily chores and activities," the elder victim wrote. "I can’t even walk for more than a short distance before feeling short of breath and need to stop. It has also affected me mentally. I cannot focus and my mind is not the same as before. The anxiety and the depression make living life very difficult and at times feel like I’ve lost the will to live."
Previous coverage on Jamaica Plain News:
- Innocent Woman Grazed in Head as Man Fires Into Station
- Forest Hills Station Shootings: Bystander Hit in the Back Will Live
- New Details Emerge in Forest Hills Station Shootings