Egleston shooting victim dies; community plans vigil for tonight

Luis Torres, one of the two people shot Saturday evening on Boylston Street died yesterday, according to Betsy Cowan, director of Egleston Square Main Street. He was 23.

In e-mail, Cowan says a community vigil is planned for 8 p.m. at Spontaneous Celebrations, 45 Danforth St. And she says the community is determined to carry on:

I stopped by Saturday and yesterday and found many people outside, visiting the businesses and caring for each other at a makeshift memorial. Several people who've been working on a community garden were there as well and planted bushes in the garden as a sign of new life and hope. The neighbors, with support from Spontaneous Celebrations, the street workers, trauma response and many others, are organizing a vigil at a local church.

I also visited the owner of Plaza Meat Market, at the corner. He said, "I'm not scared to work here in this neighborhood; what I am scared of is that people won't shop in my store anymore." We're encouraging people to patronize the local businesses and spend time in the neighborhood to support their community.

What follows is a letter Egleston Square Main Street sent to the Globe after an article it ran about eight shootings on Washington Street (the Globe did not run it):

Dear Editor:

The recent violence in Egleston Square might lead to an article similar to the one published in September by a Boston Globe reporter who came to Egleston Square looking for a neighborhood full of fearful, suspicious people peering from behind locked doors and curtains. Maybe that's what she was looking for. It's not what we see here in Egleston Square every day. We see retail stores open for business, run by entrepreneurs from 14 different countries. We see people meeting up for coffee and the best baked goods in the region at Canto 6 and coming to the square for the famous fish sandwich you can get at Star Fish Market. We see people on their way to visit Boston Beer Company, home of the Sam Adams brewery, which is also part of our neighborhood. We see cars stopping as pedestrians cross Washington Street to greet a friend.

Yes, the neighborhood has seen violent incidents this year. We hope the police catch those who are responsible and we are grateful to be meeting regularly with police, merchants, residents and community partners to promote public safety. Over the past year, Egleston Square has hosted multiple community events with over 300 attendees, 7 new businesses have opened in the district creating 18 new jobs, and nearly 25 businesses have installed new window displays and improved their storefronts.

So please consider this an open invitation from the people of Egleston Square to Ms. Irons and everyone else on the Globe editorial staff. Stop in any time for a haircut, a tune-up, a new pair of shoes and some fried fish or sancocho. We are open for business.

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Comments

Main Streets is not enough

Maybe fixing up the surface is not enough; maybe you have to fix the problems inside to actually stop the killing.

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Fixing families isn't easy as

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Fixing families isn't easy as a press release and generous funding. Society needs to change to not tolerate this behavior and the lifestyles which promote or condone it.

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The context

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Which maybe I should have included in my post: Egleston Square Main Street isn't suggesting some sort of simple kumbaya approach to fixing violent crime. What they were doing was reacting to the way the media treated the square after the last spate of violence there - as some sort of Gothamesque pit where nobody comes out of doors except criminals.

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It's weird, like there is

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It's weird, like there is some fourth dimension in Egleston Square. You would never guess that all this murderous nonsense is occuring if you take a breeze through the neighborhood, but obviously something vile is lurking under some rock or other. It seems that all this silliness and phoney-boloney gangsta posturing is on Boylston and really nowhere else--just a block away is a different world entirely. All this candle lighting and badge wearing is only encouraging this very stupid behavior and peace marches seem to do nothing but give simple minds big ideas of themselves as made-for-TV badasses. What to do? Get the cops out of the office and walking the streets--especially Boylston and the business district of Egleston Square on Washington Street. For some reason they refuse to do so!

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Adam, what's the murder count?

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Adam, not including the stabbing victim today who has life-threatening injuries (I'm hoping she pulls through) any idea on the citywide murder count? I recall during the violent years past when local TV was more in step with this, each murder would be announced as "The city's (insert #) murder victim". Seems to me that this year will be very bad, but well shy of the worst years. Then again, it's only October.

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152 in 1990 - 31 in 1999.

152 in 1990 - 31 in 1999.

There's actually no reason to expect that the number of murders per year in the city would remain anywhere near constant. Murder is not some natural phenomenon, like the decay of an elementary particle. It is a rare event, and the reason it happens is always dependent on many factors. A swing from 40 to 60 murders in one year could occur entirely fron random events - not some grand increase in the factors causing violent crime.

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Boston, for a big city, has

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Boston, for a big city, has always had a low homicide rate compared to comparable U.S. cities, but:

Has violent crime like homicides, serious assaults especially involving firearms and knives, changed dramatically since the city's record high in the early 90's? Or how does it compare today with the bad old days of 70's and 80's?

Demographics: Compare demographics then and now, paying particular attention to the number of young males as a percentage of the population.

Population: Population figures change, but as far as Boston and Greater Boston is concerned the over-all figures remain pretty consistent. Massachusetts population never decreases, and almost all population increases occur within Greater Boston. Massachusetts now has the 3rd highest population density in the country, and Boston has the 3rd highest population density of any big city in the U.S. after NY and S.F.

Heathcare and trauma treatment: Trauma care is always improving, and many people who would have died 10,20,30 years ago after being assaulted, now live. They don't show up on homicide stats.

Violent, deadly assault statistics give a more accurate picture than the actual number of homicides, IMO.

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