The two men shot to death on Friday night in Jackson Square have been identified by Boston Police. The two victims were shot dead near 277 Centre St. by the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments around 9:41 pm on Friday night. The two victims have been identified as Christopher Joyce, 23, and Clayborn Blair, 58. Both men were from Boston, and neither lived at the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments, but had ties to the Boston Housing Authority run apartment complex, according to the Boston Globe.
In partnership and unity, communities find the strength to uplift. Our community, the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain personifies this. On Monday, January 8th, a large-scale arrest involving our community took place in the culmination of a two-year investigation. It is an important step to enhancing public safety at Mildred C. Hailey Apartments. We cannot express our gratitude enough to the agencies that led the investigation – Commissioner William Evans and The Boston Police Department, Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT), Boston Housing Authority, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Nine men, eight of who are allegedly Heath Street Gang members and associates, have been charged with committing drug and firearm crimes around the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain. Seven of the men were arrested this morning and were to appear in federal court later in the day. “These arrests come as a result of a two-year investigation working closely with our federal law enforcement partners,” said Boston Police Commission William Evans via press release according to bpdnews.com. “Public safety in Boston is my number one priority and I will continue to use all the resources available to target individuals driving violence in our city. I commend the work of my officers and all those involved in taking these dangerous individuals off the streets and the work they do every day to keep Boston safe.”
The two-year investigation was a joint operation between the Boston Police and the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The Mildred C. Hailey Apartments is one of the largest owned by the Boston Housing Authority, and has been beset by drug trafficking, shootings and other related crimes, of which much is gang related.
Centre Street Partners, which is comprised of three local companies -- The Community Builders, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and Urban Edge, have been selected to begin the restoration of the Mildred C. Hailey public housing apartments. In February the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) announced they were seeking a private developer to renovate the Jackson Square apartment complex into a mixed-income community, with a commitment to preserve all of the existing affordable housing units. "In order to meet the housing needs of all of our residents, we must think creatively to preserve our existing affordable housing stock, while developing new housing," said Mayor Martin Walsh via a press release on August 8th. "I am pleased the Centre Street Partners share our goal, and look forward to the improved housing that will be built as part of this partnership." The proposed development will replace five existing, high-rise residential buildings on Centre Street with five new residential mixed-use buildings.
On Monday Massachusetts State House Speaker Robert DeLeo visited the Nurtury Learning Lab located in the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain. "As the House advances its focus on high-quality early education and care, it's essential to hear from educators and to meet the families participating in these programs," said DeLeo. "We're fortunate to have a national leader like Nurtury in our backyard and I'm thrilled to visit the program and learn from them. Today's visit will inform the House's work this coming session, especially with regards to supporting the workforce." "Nurtury provides a safe learning experience for nearly 1,000 children in the neighborhood," said state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, D-Boston.