Gunfire erupts in Cambridge's Area Four

Cambridge Police report that around 10:35 p.m. on Monday, multiple rounds were fired in the area of Main and Windsor streets.

Police found multiple shell casings and two cars with fresh damage from bullets, but no human victims. Police add:

All indications at this point in the investigation are that this incident was not random in nature.

Police are looking for a dark SUV that was spotted by witnesses fleeing the area.



Free tagging: 


Wow, what year is it?

I half expected that this was a report from 1987 or something. That isn't exactly the sort of place that one would expect street violence any more.

Small correction

Fear of street violence happens everywhere. Expect it.

Sorry, but it really is actually very geographically concentrated, with occasional outliers.

Sorry, that statement's not

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Sorry, that statement's not true at all but my guess is that you'll keep telling yourself it is so you can feel better up there in your ivory tower.

Fact: there is violence everywhere but in most cases it can be easily ignored by those who don't want to recognize its existence in a neighborhood. Much easier/"safer"/better to assume that "those people over there" are the only ones having to deal with anything unpleasant.

This is why Universal Hub is so valuable; it's one of the only news sources that reports on the violence happening everywhere, not just in those areas not being actively promoted by wealthy real-estate developers.


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You're seriously trying to make the case that, say, Back Bay and Grove Hall have the same levels of violent crime--it's just that the reporting of said crime is squelched by clever real estate interests? Come on.

Take a look at the facts.

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Take a look at the facts. This map shows all reported violent incidents in 2014 in Boston (note: it does not show Cambridge). Firearm incidents are in red:

As you can see, violent incidents are NOT happening in Grove Hall alone, they're happening ACROSS THE CITY.

Are some areas more prone to violence than others? Most definitely. But saying that all other incidents are "outliers" is a naive, uneducated response based on perception rather than reality.

I don't consider Swirly either naive or uneducated.

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I live in an area with a fair share of violent crime; I have plenty of friends and family in Dorchester. I understand the issues around perception vs reality. But I'm still not buying the grand conspiracy theory that Coldwell Banker et al are skewing the stats here or that there's an even distribution of violent crime throughout Boston neighborhoods--it's just not true.

Thanks, Sally

I grew up in a rather rough neighborhood - at least a shooting or two a year, lots of theft, drugs.

I used to bike through Mission Hill by Mission Main, often at night, to get from my job to home. If I didn't have my bike, I often had to walk it when the T would kill service past Longwood or Huntington on the Green Line.

I have also done service projects in Dudley back in the early 90s. Back then, an elderly guy I was working alongside told me that the risk wasn't outright murder, but getting caught in the crossfire, and it was largely limited to specific places and times that the local people tended to know. That may have changed, but things were far worse back then.

I'm sure that you're a nice

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I'm sure that you're a nice person. Really … not trying to be an ***hole. But this response? Really cements the whole "ivory tower" reference made earlier.


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As in cars, public transportation, bikes and sometimes feet. It's true, violence happens all over the city, but where do you think most of the perpetrators come from? Look it up, you're in for a rather unpleasant surprise. Boston, unlike Chicago or Houston, is small enough for a criminal form one neighborhood to be on the other side of town to rob/shoot/sell drugs in less than 20 minutes. That, and Boston's omnipresent public housing - do you really think all those shootings in South End, Southie and Charlestown were perpetrated by the rent/mortgage-paying yuppies?

Not where I live...

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...where "street violence" is confined to wasting a couple of Tim Horton's doughnuts by purposely chucking them at a curious (and bewildered) moose....

Interesting take on the

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Interesting take on the situation given the fact that several people who actually live in the neighborhood have commented that until the past couple of "quiet" years, this kind of thing isn't rare at all.

Again, just because you want it to be the truth -- and just because you didn't hear about it before -- doesn't mean that it is.


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There has been an unprecedented amount of shootings in unexpected(i.e white, affluent, higher income)places. As someone who works and frequents the"normal shooting galleries"I wonder how this will affect how violence is addressed everywhere. LMFAO Just kidding! I know that violence in these areas will be addressed with vehemence and more than likely force the violence to"where it belongs".

"too close to home"

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I'm definitely an armchair crusader of social justice in terms of commenting on UniversalHub. I also live in a decidedly non-gentrified part of Dorchester (maybe 5% white, mostly working-through-middle class), and although my immediate neighborhood is quite safe (safer than Centre street in JP, certainly), my community is strongly affected by violence.

So, no, the description 'safely ensconced in the protective hub on white Cambridge" does not describe all of us who write comments on this website. Regardless of our neighborhoods, we're just concerned at how much violence in this city is directly attributable to white supremacist attitudes, and your argument-by-strawman is particularly weak tea.

Particularly since those of us who actually live live in these neighborhoods are endlessly frustrated by Area Four-area progressives, who seem to think that abuses by the the NSA are WAY more important than racial discrimination.

Racial discrimination?

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Will you drop it already? Yes, there are plenty of poor almost exclusively black neighborhoods out there, but there are plenty of poor almost exclusively white neighborhoods out there as well. This is economic segregation, which happens to be one of the basic principles of capitalism, and has nothing to do with racial discrimination. If you're poor you live with the poor and if you're rich you live with the rich - doesn't matter if you're white, black or purple. The only color that matters is GREEN. Green is what gets you safer neighborhoods, nicer cars and better schools for the kids, not the color of your skin. Poor blacks are stuck in inner city ghettos and poor whites are stuck in trailer parks, while rich whites and rich blacks live happily alongside each other in Brookline and Newton. I suppose you can go full Lenin and make everyone equal, but you've seen how that goes once the initial excitement wears off. People get lazy, and the nation goes down the drain.

Despite that area's rep as

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Despite that area's rep as being a fancy tech hub there is a lot of public housing as well.

So does the most violence

So does the most violence happen in lower income areas or not? Are we supposed to feel bad that the poor are subjected to violence in housing projects, want them to go to other areas, or pressure the government to revitalize their own neighbourhoods? Encourage them to report violence when it happens or have them feel helpless because it's assumed no one will help them.

I can't ever tell if we're supposed to help the poor motivate themselves or encourage them to do it on their own because people will cry "racism" or classism or gentrification either way.


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You have already done something, you started the discussion or even care to breach the subject.

Or face the fact that more

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Or face the fact that more crime happens in areas where public housing is concentrated?

First isn't necessarily the most useful.

But thanks for playing. Swirls needs to make bingo.

Here is dripping fresh crime data for Cambridge skillfully curated and thoughtfully provided by one of the very best cop shops in the land.

The one time I was mugged it was on my doorstep at 54 pleasant when I did my 2 year house sit for Billy Ruane. But then I wuz real drunk and a pretty useless mugging target with my princely sum of 24 cents.

And it sobered me up enough to turn tables and scare the mugger with a chain and baseball bat.

That's over in Cambridge Port.

There are interesting public housing complexes in several parts of the city from Alewife to Washington Elms and they aren't much more crime infested than the rest of town.

Problems are where they've always been, the general vicinity of Central Square where Crazy meets Drunk and Broke on equal if wobbly footing.


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So, according to you, there's no crime in the projects, and places like Robert Taylor and Pruitt Igoe were torn down because greedy developers wanted the land? I was looking at condos in Coolidge Corner but I guess I should save my money and buy one next to Franklin Field, it's just as safe according to know-it-all Chriswirly&Co.

The rebuilding of public housing....

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...has more to do with the fact that 1. original developments built in the 40's and 50's were designed, in part, to serve returning vets as "transitional" rental housing as a stepping stone to more permanent homeowner-type status; obviously they have become housing of last resort with corresponding social ills only being exacerbated by building-type; 2. The units themselves can be as much 50% smaller than conventional affordable units and retrofitting is extremely expensive; often more than rebuilding; they are functionally obsolete; 3. HUD's love affair with modernism as expressed in federal housing of that era gave way to "new urbanism" and if you're gonna rebuild, might as well make the new development look like the rest of the neighborhood; 4. the financing supports for subsidized housing have changed dramatically and no longer a single source of subsidy, they require layers of subsidy including tax credits; this makes it possible for private developers to partner up with housing authorities and redevelop distressed public housing (for local examples, see Maverick Gardens, Washington Beech, Franklin Hill, etc). In many cases, redeveloping environments has a positive effect on behaviors and the ability for agencies to effective manage their properties.

Hate to destroy your thesis, but...

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1. Read this. Public housing began in the 1930s as a means to addressing substandard housing in cities across the nation. A lot of the projects that became infamous came out of this program, not the veterans' housing program.
2. What you are saying is that housing of the time is not what people want now, right? I suppose you can walk around and talk to people at Arborway Gardens, veterans housing from the early 1950s that is now a condo complex at Forest Hills, and see what they say about that.
3. HUD realized that what was thought to be best practices in the early days in fact fostered poor conditions.
4. I agree (what, I can't agree with you when I'm disagreeing with you?)

In the end, Newtowne Court is the projects, which is what people tend to forget. Pre-WW II, Pre-Yuppie projects.

Arborway Gardens

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I've actually seen a unit there - not a mansion by any means, but definitely a whole lot bigger and nicer than the typical Brighton shithole one would find for under $1500 a month - and that's just typical old "bricks" that are, according to many bleeding heart blabbermouths, unfit for animals, let alone humans, if they're used as public housing. Pretty damn ironic, eh? Somehow structures completely unfit for human occupation turned into desirable condos. Some of those long-gone towers would still be standing had they been filled with responsible rent-paying folks - many similar structures that were not public housing are still standing, with units selling or renting for way more than many of us can afford. In the grand scheme of things Cabrini-Green towers were, structurally and architecturally, no worse than all those urban renewal towers that popped up all over West End, yet the former are gone and the latter are something middle class folks can only dream of. Google up what Minoru Yamasaki said about Pruitt-Igoe residents when he saw what his design had turned into, that comment sums it up really well...

Difference between condos and apartments

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My wife lived in a 1 bedroom in Arborway Gardens a decade ago. Basically everything was original- stove (which she replaced), electrical (which I believe the next owner replaced), cabinets, bathroom. It was a bit of a time trip, but it was hers. Now, were it still rental housing, I would imagine that it would have been rehabbed by this point. As to the post I critiqued, the basic dimensions would stay the same.

It was a nice little place. Too bad I am Roslindale proud. Or stupid. As for veterans housing overall, some of it ended up nice like that, others fell apart. When the ideas behind public housing changed, conditions changed. I cannot say the idea of replacing decrepit slums wasn't a great idea, but history does show that between the 1960s and early 1990s, things certainly did fall apart.

good points, thanks! Destroy away!

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1. yes, started in the 30's (McCormack, Boston); I was referring to a particular period/focus when production was jamming...slum clearance (also a fed hwy target) and "transitional" tenures were part of the focus.
2. right, not all 40-50's housing was too small or inappropriate; but safe to say that much of the stuff that has been razed/redeveloped was; size mattered to HUD in decisions to rebuild. Modernity has it limits when buildings have no physical relationship to surrounding community (towers in the garden idea: build higher to get into the fresh air)
3. right, no disagreement, you put a much more positive spin on it!

Alewife Towers

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actually, for the record, the towers by alewife are actually private rental housing....

Cambridge Housing Authority runs one of the best housing agencies in the state if not the country. No doubt they have problems but it is a far reach to assume out of the box that the idiots who did this were public housing residents.


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The world is a much sadder place without him.

Dude, are you for real?

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That's not the most useful source? It's coming straight from the horse's mouth (i.e. government agency) - what more do you want? Should it come from the left's version of daily caller instead?

You've got to be kidding me

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I grew up poor in NYC and Boston. I lived in 'socioeconomically deprived' neighborhoods that were in the process of 'gentrifying'. Where ever projects existed, you can bet your life the inhabitants of said projects (some of them) were responsible for a lot of violent street crime, robberies, rapes, murders,etc. in the surrounding neighborhood. The saying when something bad occurred was you'll find the perp(s) in The Projects (living with his mom/grandma). It was true most of the time. Projects are evil inventions.

public housing....

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...never had an evil intention so is hardly an evil's a little more complex than that


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Where do you live, and more importantly, is there any public housing nearby?

Yup. That's my neighborhood.

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Yup. That's my neighborhood. I live down the street. Mostly it's just people yelling and arguing outside certain buildings. I'm glad no one got hurt (as far as we know anyway)) but I'm not exactly surprised this happened.

Maybe it's just me but I've noticed more tension as of late.

I wonder how this will impact area four rent

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I lived a few blocks away from this intersection for many years. The gunfire is not so surprising given the history for stuff like this. It's just been so quiet for the last year or two that people forget. Many people have been priced out of the area and it doesn't make sense because of incidents like this used to happen more frequently not too long ago. Luckily it appears no one was hurt.

I really doubt it will,

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I really doubt it will, especially with all the big biotech companies expanding. It's such a nice neighborhood and the location is really convenient. I'll miss it a lot when I move at the end of the summer. However my rent has jumped $600 in two years which is beyond crazy considering how run down my building is! My cousin lived in the neighborhood and moved last year because her rent went up several hundred dollars as well.

If you think an isolated

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If you think an isolated incident of gunfire will affect rent in an area you're out of your mind. No one was even hit... the majority of people in the city don't even know this happened. Including the residents of the area. Rents will continute to go up just like everywhere else in Cambridge, Boston and every other coastal urban area in the country.

Do crime. Do time

If a mandatory 1 year sentence was gauranteed, many of these assholes would think twice about using a weapon.


Judges should enforce the 1 Year Mandatory Jail Time!

Massachusetts should open a Bartley-Fox Correctional Facility dedicated to felons convicted under such law.

Guess how many convictions

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Guess how many convictions have occurred under this law? It is virtually never enforced creating a revolving door effect.

We don't need any new prisons

What we need is to release those who were convicted of low-level, non-violent, minor drug offenses.

Actually, we should ask another state to do that (MA has been pretty good with not clogging our corrections with stoners), and then send the gun crime fools there.

Low-level, non-violent

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As in users? Those shouldn't be in prison in the first place, what about all the crack and heroin dealers who are destroying entire communities? Those are normally non-violent (or rather extremely violent but for the most part don't get caught in the act and no one is willing to turn them in - innocent until proven guilty,) and are smart enough not to get busted with an illegal firearm on them. Should we just slap them on the wrist and let them keep doing what they're doing?

Area Four

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Although it's been developed for years now, parts of Area Four still have that "eerie emptiness" feel of the old Kendall square of the 70s/80s.

Check out FourDuce1's channel

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Check out FourDuce1's channel on Youtube (Boston area police/fire footage).
Search 'Cambridge' and a lot of the videos are in Area 4. It's a very safe city but historically the violent crime is concentrated on both sides of Mass Ave by Central Square.