A Boston Municipal Court judge today set bail of $1 million - twice what prosecutors asked - for Kareem Smith, 29, who was arrested on charges he shot four people in a Chinatown parking lot early Sunday.
Smith, released June 12 from a 5 1/2-year federal sentence for illegal possession of a loaded gun, opened fire on a crowd of about 100 people in the parking lot between Chau Chow City and Edinboro Street around 3 a.m., assistant Suffolk County DA Lindsey Weinstein said at Smith's arraignment this morning.
Weinstein, who did not offer a motive, said Smith hit one man in the leg, one in the left chest and pelvis, one in the abdomen and one in the buttocks - as he fired between 10 and 15 shots. She said arriving officers found chaos, with people running in all directions - except for the ones hiding behind barriers.
Smith ran, but police caught up with him nearby and recovered a gun under a box truck on Oxford Street, she said, adding a witness IDed Smith as the shooter.
Based on the incident and what she said was a lengthy record of gun and drug offenses dating back to when he was just 15, Weinstein asked for bail of $500,000 on the various charges, which included assault with intent to murder and illegal possession of a gun and ammunition.
Smith's attorney, Arnold Cohen, however, painted a picture of a completely innocent man unfairly singled out in a melee.
Three of the four victims, he said, were Smith's friends, and he and they were only trying to flee the disturbance.
He dismissed the witness ID -- he asked how one person, presumably in as much fear as everybody else, possibly hiding behind a barrier, make such a clear ID. The DA's case "is just plain shaky," he said.
Cohen asked for bail of just $15,000. He said Smith has been working as a cook at Pine Street Inn since his release on the federal charge and has strong ties to the area - his mother, brother and three sisters all live in the Boston area. He added that even if Smith made that amount, he doubted he would walk free because the DA made a point of notifying federal probation officials of the arrest - Smith is just beginning a three-year federal probation period.
Judge Thomas Horgan then set bail at $1 million.
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