Murder victim identified, was working to become a sheet-metal worker, author

Shongi Fernandes

Friends online have identified the man shot to death on Claybourne Street Sunday night as Shongi Fernandes, 24.

Last summer, Fernandes graduated an ABCD program aimed at training Bostonians to become construction workers. Fernandes had a license as an apprentice sheet-metal worker.

In May, Fernandes and a friend released a Kindle book called Ain't No Love in the Bean, a novel about the search for the murderer of a notorious Dorchester drug lord.

In July, Fernandes filed a suit against Boston Police and a BPD sergeant, alleging he was pulled out of a car and beaten in 2012 because he is Cape Verdean. Because of the constitutional issues raised in the suit, the city had the suit moved to US District Court in Boston - where just last week, the city asked for a delay in answering Fernandes's complaint.

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Fernandes complaint in his lawsuit1.82 MB

Comments

I can jump to conclusions too

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Rather than guess that "thugs were sending him a message", or remark on his "amazing accomplishments" I could guess something else.

He co-wrote a book (with someone named "Lefty") about the murder of a drug dealer , including tons of violence, and what can only be described as pornography in chapter 1, (that's as far as I got). He is a Boston resident who wears a Seattle Mariners hat known in some circles as a gang hat. He was hauled out of a car late at night by the police, and is part of an ethnic community that has been involved in gang wars for years. So I can jump to all sorts of conclusions too.

I live 4 blocks from where this young man was murdered. The gun violence in this city makes me sick and afraid. My guess is that he was involved with gangs, drugs, and guns and that his murder was part of that world. Just a guess, and as valid as any other guess.

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Colors

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I don't think he was a Mariners fan, nor a baseball fan. For many people, especially in that part of Dorchester, wearing certain logos and colors have nothing to with being a fan And yes, wearing the wrong colors can get you killed in some areas of this and other cities, maybe not at Fenway, but more likely on a street like Claybourne.
Since Adam reported that his information came from online friends of the deceased, perhaps they can explain his deep ties to Seattle and his devotion to the Mariners.

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Why are you so concerned about his ball cap?

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Have you watched the video? He's hatless and he's wearing a tie. What does that tell you?

If you search Twitter, you can find a photo of him with a Sox cap. Aha! You know what that means, don't you? I don't even want to think what it means that there are some photos of him wearing glasses.

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It's more of a west coast thing.

I had a gang banger neighbor, 'Junior', who was brought to the Northwest by his dad after getting in too much trouble in Cali.

I remember we were riding around town one day and he stopped the car to grab a baseball hat from the street that had an LA Dodgers logo on it. But the whole thing was also fairly mysterious in Seattle so the 'statement' fell flat.

Here in urban yankee Mayberry, that gangbanger stuff may as well a clown suit for all the cachet it has. That won't prevent the fellows from the Institute of Intensive Pearl Clutching to jump in here and do a bit of memory defiling of some hapless kid caught in crossfire.

A round of condolences are far more thoughtful and useful as a way to move beyond these 'others' phobias.

May his family be comforted and find peace.

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Right

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As we all know, people are incapable of ever changing, unless they are white and driving a plow for the Patriots.

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Somebody suburban

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Reads wayyyyyy too much about what gang folk MUST be doing.

Really. This is trivial, sad, and bizarrely imaginative in all the wrong ways.

Also consider that he was suing the local cops. Uh huh.

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Who are you to judge?

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Pornography? Ethnic community? Wears a hat?

A human being was murdered violently. And you're grasping at straws to try and justify it. Show some respect.

My condolences to this young man's family.

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Who am I to judge, you ask?

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I live close to where this murder occurred. I hear the gun shots night and day, I see the alleged perps running from the cops. I see the police running through back yards with guns drawn. I see the yellow crime scene tape. I see streets blocked on both ends by police cars with flashing blues. I see the arrests. I pay attention to what's happening and why. I know 2 cops and have discussed these types of incidents with them and my neighbors who see all this crap too. I know victims of the robberies, assaults, threats and intimidation.

The 2008 case in Quincy tells me a lot. If it's the same Shongi Fernandes, he carried a gun and used it in a robbery. If that' s him, that's all I need to know. If you live by the gun, you may very well die by the gun.

And yes , gangs wear certain sports teams shirts, shorts, and hats. That is a fact. The police certainly know it and it helps them to ID who is aligned with which gang. All of you who think he was a fan of the Seattle Mariners or just thought the hat was cool, the odds are, your are simply wrong.

I didn't know Shongi Fernandes, but I know enough to put together a pretty good idea of who he was and who he was hanging with. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure I'm right.
I also know that the police investigation will be met with silence from the witnesses and community, some because it's the "code", and some because they are afraid, and that there may not ever be justice in this case. If the cops do find the killer or killers, they will have to work extremely hard and for a long time to overcome the code of silence .

I know that his friends will say he is a good kid and didn't deserve to die. I know his family is devastated. And I know that some people know who killed him and they will probably retaliate at some point in the future. As long as this violence continues, I am going to keep judging.

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I live a few blocks away, too

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I live a few blocks away, too. I acknowledge the disparity of opportunity in the city. I acknowledge that most city kids are "good kids" at heart, and that a plethora of things come together to create and perpetuate violence. I acknowledge the unfathomable hurt of his family and friends. I acknowledge that people can change...in fact, I spend a lot of time mentoring and trying, in my own little corner of Dot, to make sure those opportunities exist.

But you guys who are saying "He must be a Mariners fan" are not living in reality. Denying the real nature of conflict and killing in this neighborhood and this city is not going to make it go away, and sanctifying the memory of a complex human being (who no doubt made some good and some very bad decisions in his young life) is not helping the next young kid to be better. Reserve judgment, wait for facts (if they ever come), but be real. We have gang issues in Dorchester. Anyone denying that doesnt live here.

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To clarify...I'm not justifying or judging.

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...or blaming the dead. My point was actually the opposite - that by glossing over the complexity of the environment for young people in Dot, we do his life and his struggle a disservice. By not acknowledging the real and steady pressures our young men (and women) are under, we allow ourselves to dismiss their passing as a random and therefore unpreventable. We let ourselves off the hook rather than delving into changing things. I did not know Mr. Fernandes. I cannot and I will not judge him, and that was not my intention. I was saying (simply and only) that folks who suggest that hats are worn only by innocent baseball fans are denying the strength, loyalty, stealth, complexity, and language of street culture in Dorchester and are actually unfairly letting themselves off the hook. This is about the shooter(s) as much as the fallen. His death may have been preventable, and we bear that burden as a community and as a city. Trivializing his death as purely "wrong place wrong time" or "that's how gangbangers do" is about the most disrespectful and least helpful thing we can do.

To his family and friends in this thread, my heart breaks for you. I live here, too, and I have lost some of my own. I wish you peace and strength.

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haha a hat ? seriously that's

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haha a hat ? seriously that's what concerns you guys ? for those thinking the Seattle hat was gang related your completely wrong he actually really liked the Seattle logo just how I like the boston logo that doesn't mean your gang related ! if you guys don't LIVE THIS LIFE , and your not out here then just stop because everything coming out your mouth is non sense ! when young "thugs" as you refer to them read this they laugh because you guys don't have a clue about what you saying really just don't know what your talking about and its funny just let my cousin rest in peace clowns

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No matter who you were

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No matter who he was before or what he did before shouldn't justify his death. So for all you people judging this man not knowing a damn thing do me a favor and shut your mouth. So what he made a couple bad mistakes as a young boy don't overlook his many accomplishments and changes he made to better himself. Keep judging and thinking you know a thing about what these young men go through in dorchester because you have no idea until you been through it. Thats the problem with you people you overlook the good things and let the bad things define a person. With people like you who needs enemies?? If they're were more people like Shongi the world would be a better place. Rest Easily because these people wont let you! Love you

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the girl that KNOWS Shongi.

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Shongi was no Angel but he wasnt the devil neither he made mistakes in 2008 (6 YEARS AGO) a year later his son was born & he promised he would change to show his son the way life was supposed to be.... which he did starting with education and getting certified as in plumbing....then worked in construction . He later moved into a beautiful home and bought his dream car. Shongi spoiled his mother with love and gifts calling her HIS QUEEN other then mom. He was raised in Dorchester so his friends were all those who grew up with him. Shongi was a great friend pushing his companions to become better men and to think beyond the "Hood" they even made him a special day called "Shongi appreciation day" celebrating there friendship and there promises to him... Shongi collected hats and sneakers so that's why he had different hats. Im just going to end this eith a small life quota "don't judge a book by its cover or the first pages cause the middle and end will surprise you." Rest in paradise . . . With LOVE .-m

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Questions for you m

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You're the first person in this conversation that says they knew Shongi. What do you and your friends think happened? Why was he murdered? And by whom?
Thanks

answer - anon

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this case is like no other
that question is in everyones mind.
nobody can tell you what happened that night. . but for the first time I must say
investigators are working diligently and doing all they can to help find justice.

judging a dead soul ? your a caward !

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Everbody and anybody trying to justify this brutal murder of my of young cousin shongi is a fuckking clown idc if you live a couple blocks away, next door , or on the same street you didn't know shongi and judging him off an article you read or trying to put things from 2008 into play is pathetic . my cousin was an intelligent young man trying to make a way out just like every other young man in Dorchester and unfortunately he got his life token away at a very young age there was a lot more things to come from shongi he was a role model a leader and great father ." you live by the gun you die by the gun " well listen here player you live a couple blocks away right ? so you don't live to far away from the gun and trust and believe being disrespectful and talking the way you are you'll be the next one to "die by the gun" fukking clown ! let my cousin rest in peace ....

And there it is....

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I was waiting for this exact violent response...a bodily threat to shoot a person merely commenting on a public site. A very sad day for universal hub.
You see, freedom of speech and people expressing views and frustrations. This culture has a sickness within. No education, no money, no daddies, mommies with babies and no fathers all create this cycle of hate and violence.
Only the people within this community can heal these wounds. But I'm discouraged to say the entrenchment if sec 8, food stamps will only help to keep this culture brewing.

Judging a dead soul?

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Jay,

Why don't you let your cousin rest in peace? You want to throw shade at people who are judging or commenting, You want to pretty much threaten?? Just goes to show you how people are in the same family. You just accomplished showing everyone the life you live!! You're street tough as long as you have a gun and can run your mouth. Your past is who you are regardless of what you have accomplished and over come! The only coward I see here is anyone who could make a statement like you have or someone who goes around robbing people!! That's a coward to scared to make their own money to buy their own things!!

I knew him for years hes a

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I knew him for years hes a good well mannered boy... he even has a son he takes care of very well.. not everyones death is drug or gang related... this was purely being in the wrong place at the wrong time...

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From knowing him personally

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From knowing him personally he wasn't involved in "gang activities" ... so keep ya smart comments to yourself.

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Ignorant youth

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When someone writes a comment under an article about a young mans murder, it should be heart felt. There should be a genuine concern about why these type of things keep occurring. Instead you judge, you make fun of something that is far from a joke. When the pain hits home everybody wants to cry but when it's miles away, nobody cares. The beginning of the end of these uneducated youth killing each other starts with you. I didn't know this young man but I've lost friends and family to those very same streets. When we begin to care about more than just ourselves and our love ones, we will see the change that is long overdue. Color of skin is not a factor here, lack of knowledge is. Even you readers lack the knowledge of knowing that one positive comment can change one negative persons outlook and lead them down the road to changing. Someone said his hat represented a gang, another said should we tell out of state fans not to wear that hat and icing on the cake, I think it was drug related. What if you all are right? Does that mean he's not too young to die, does that mean he doesn't deserve a chance to change or does it mean he's not human and he can not make a mistake? What happens now, do you forget this young man tomorrow and talk about the next youth that ends up front page or do you find a way to teach the uneducated and save your street

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Well put

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A young man was murdered.

What difference does it make if he wasn't an angel? It still doesn't make it right.

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Consequences

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No one involved in this discussion said "it was right" or justified the murder. However choices in life have consequences. If a person chooses to hang with gangbangers or is one himself, the lifestyle of violence, drugs, guns, and hate has consequences. And one of those consequences all too often is that disputes are resolved by guns.

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What's the point of the ignorance???

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Why bother commenting if all you have to say is negative things??? He is no longer breathing to defend hisself so keep your comments to yourself. This worlds full of idiots!

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Quote in the Globe

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http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/09/01/dorchester-shooting-leaves-o...

And....right on cue. "He’s a good kid, man, he’s a good, good kid,” said the man, who added that Fernandes was working and going to school. “He changed his life around.” "

So he was involved in something that needed "changing". And maybe just maybe he didn't change enough. Its all fun and games and swagger with these young men with their guns and violence, until someone dies, then we see the sorrow and the outrage. Where are the tears for the victims of his violence in the 2008 armed robbery?

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Huh! The things I learn

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OK, I'm not Christian, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Christians, who make up the vast majority of Americans and, I'm assuming, most people who visit this site, consider the idea of redemption a key part of their faith.

Or is that just for white folks?

Maybe the police know why Shongi Fernandes died, but I don't - and you sure don't, unless you happen to be a member of the homicide unit. Maybe there is more to it. Or maybe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time (as we learned last week, Boston shooters have terrible aim). We don't know.

What we do know is that a young man is dead and that over the past couple of years he had done things to, yes, turn his life around.

Change the color of his skin and the location of his death to West Roxbury and I feel pretty confident most of the haters would be asking why the cops aren't working faster to find the killer running loose on our streets instead of blaming the victim for his own death.

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Well you had this Middle Eastern guy

..who discovered Aristotle and improved the outlook by adding compassion and redemption features.

It's about as impressive as we get in its way, but His idiot followers have wasted a few thousand years slaughtering each other over who has the franchise.

And to make matters more ridiculous, they vie with each other to see who can move the furthest from actual practice while still keeping the sleeve ware.

When handed a perfect opportunity to reflect on redemption and show adherence to this compassion thing, the best they can do is sling crap.

Buy em bibles and buy em bibles and all they do is eat the pages.

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Spot-on.

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Isn't there some Bible verse about judging other people?

Escapes me at the moment.

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Lest ye be judged

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The Bible warns that when you judge, you will be judged likewise.

Like when here a commenting poster judges the life of someone killed with assumptions, it only takes a short while before someone judges the commenting poster with assumptions.

Judging is awesome. It usually keeps people from hiring deranged people for babysitters and such.

The Bible encourages, or perhaps demands, judging as long as it is righteous.

Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Prov 31:9)

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Skin color has nothing to do with my opinions

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I'm white, my partner of many years is brown, and one of my best friends who feels the same way I do is black. I also know several Cape Verdeans including someone who I worked side by side with for 5 years. I haven't spoken to all of them about this murder but I can safely say based on previous conversations that they would all agree with me.
If this guy in fact committed an armed robbery in Quincy in 2008, he lived by the gun and it's not surprising he died by the gun. And yes, if he committed that armed robbery, I think he's a bad person, not a good person, and not because of his skin color.
Sure redemption is possible, but phony redemption is quite common too.
I look at each case and individual before I form my opinions. For example you may be surprised that I believe Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Dawnn Jaffier were all innocent victims. But I have not reached the conclusion that Shongi Fernandes was innocent.

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Skin color

makes for great talk radio and herald columns. Great way to get out their base.

So...

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So let us just say he committed a robbery roughly six years ago and that robbery included a gun and so now roughly six years later, he is killed and because he committed a robbery roughly six years ago his death is now justifiable?

And are you saying his redemption is "phony" because of, um, why?

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No one in this entire

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No one in this entire conversation said his murder was justifiable nor did anyone suggest anything like that. Perhaps some of you have difficulty reading or comprehending what you read.

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Already answered that several times

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But apparently you don't like the answer. The original story painted an incomplete and rather one sided picture of the victim. Based on additional information, the victim lived by the gun, and died by the gun. Not in any way shape or form justifying or excusing his assassin. Repeating the allegation about what I am saying and my intentions does not make any of it true.

If one participates in gun violence as the victim did, then it's not surprising he died by gun violence. Thinking otherwise is not reality.

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Confusion

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You're confusing information and speculation. Feel free to speculate that he died due to past connections. However, the only information you have is that he has a criminal past and a baseball hat.

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I don't know if you counted

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I don't know if you counted me among the "haters", but it certainly wouldnt change a thing for me. I've seen both brown and white young men come up in Dorchester for 2 generations and I find the single most insidious thing we do as a community is to either deify or demonize a victim. Dismissing events as one dimensional and people as faultless leaves us no room for improvement as a city. Fear of acknowledging the complexity of human life (or of offending each other) allows us to smugly do nothing at all. Saying "he was clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time" or saying "he must be a gangbanger" when neither is known is equally dismissive. I'd rail against both, color irrelevant. Instead, I'd hope for action on all sides.

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the girl that knows Shongi

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Shongi was no Angel but he wasnt the devil neither he made mistakes in 2008 (6 YEARS AGO) a year later his son was born & he promised he would change to show his son the way life was supposed to be.... which he did starting with education and getting certified as in plumbing....then worked in construction . He later moved into a beautiful home and bought his dream car. Shongi spoiled his mother with love and gifts calling her HIS QUEEN other then mom. He was raised in Dorchester so his friends were all those who grew up with him. Shongi was a great friend pushing his companions to become better men and to think beyond the "Hood" they even made him a special day called "Shongi appreciation day" celebrating there friendship and there promises to him... Shongi collected hats and sneakers so that's why he had different hats. Im just going to end this eith a small life quota "don't judge a book by its cover or the first pages cause the middle and end will surprise you." Rest in paradise . . . With LOVE .-m

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Something positive

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I've had the pleasure of knowing Shongi since Elementary and ever since then he was a force to be reckoned with. Shongi was strong, smart and always stoodout. One of the only kids in his 5th grade class that spoke English. To the young man that joined an outreach group to better him self he left an impact on everyone he met. I can't honestly say as someone who got to know him he was a great somebody and the world is a little colder with out him RIP.SHONGI

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everyone spoke English in tynan

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Thats not true, everyone in our 5th grade class spoke English, I went to tynan elementary same class with shongi, then we both went to gavin middle school. But to your first point shongi was one of the strongest and smartest individuals I've ever known. Im truely shocked and saddened.

why so negative ?

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It seems to me you're focusing on more of the bad decisions he made over the good ones he made. It also seems like they're publishing more of the negative opinions than the good ones as well because I kno a few people wrote some stuff on here that I had yet seen published which is terrible !

I mean he was no saint but he wasn't a devil either gosh. He actually changed his life around regardless of who he's "friends" with it didn't change the smart man he became and was still growing to become...

Rest in Paradise Mr. Shongi Fernandes

ITS NOT FAIR

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How can you sit here and publish the bad things and a little bit if the Good? That's not right. Everyone deserves to know the good in people as well. Don't be like that. The people need to know he's not who or what he use to be.

I see what side you're standing on smh. Have a heart !!

Disappointed in the negative comments

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Wow I am amazed that there are people really leaving comments under this article trying to justify why this young man was murdered. First of all, MANY young men collect hats just for the sake of the colors in them matching their outfits so to say he is representing a gaing is very uneducated & probably false! Second of all who cares what his book was about or even if the first chapter was "pornographic" ... I'm sure if the author of 50 shades of gray were to be murdered it would be justifiable because he or she wrote a sexually graphic novel. The problem with the comments that are being left is that they are coming from people who have no idea who this young man is personally and are trying to fit him into a group of people to justify his murder. What pleasure does one get out of that? If another persons relative or friend were to be murdered random people could pull ideas out of the wood works to justify why they were murdered but what good does it do ANYONE?! please keep in mind that this young man had a family and despite whatever his past may hold turned it around and began accomplish what appear to be wonderful things. Unfortunately his time what cut short and he will never reach his full potential. But please let him rest in peace and try not to speak ill of the dead!

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Super sad

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I'm super sad and creeped out, Shongi was my neighbor at one point and the first day I met him was in the laundry room of our building, he was super sweet and he spoke to me and my son like he knew us forever. Every time I'd bring my groceries in, he'd always ask if I needed help and even after every "no thank u" he still always offered. I'm heart broken and I barely knew him it's just devastating :(

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People are disgusting

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People are disgusting. Welcome to America ! The lives of young black males or black males in general are NOT valued in the country. Shoot any black life. Partly because we were never intended to live in this country, just provide free labor and secondly, because WE as black folks need to show people our lives DO matter. His death was senseless, especially since he was on the up and up, but your past follows you. Particularly when you stay in the same place you’ve done dirt. I don’t read the comments because they make me sick to my stomach. People and their asinine opinions on what someone else’s life should look like and they never lived it. It’s gross! I’ve been praying on this ever since all of the deaths have happened around me and I feel powerless to do anything about it. Especially the blatant murder of innocent people. Something has to change, but I don’t know where to begin. Stop post negativity comments and you dont know him or the man he became.

It is easy to condemn.....

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I won't debate the naysayers. I won't attempt to change your opinions. I don't expect you to understand, nor do I care whether or not you do. You didn't know him, it's just that simple. I'm honored to have known Shongi personally. I can say without hesitation he was a GREAT person. I sat for 7 weeks in a classroom with him this past spring. We were training for entry into union trade positions. Shongi was so enigmatic and hardworking, he was already hired a week prior to our graduating. He was the bright light that never dimmed. Not a single day passed without laughter and it was all thanks to him. Shongi encouraged us all, I mean this man would give rides to classmates having trouble getting to school. He was so respectful, well mannered, articulate, and intelligent beyond measure. In that short time I developed a great respect for this young man. I admired his perseverance. He was someone who accepted responsibility for ALL that he had done. He paid for the errors and indiscretions of his youth and made incredible improvements in his life. He would dissuade others from making the same mistakes he did. The right path was more difficult but he chose it anyway. He was a union brother, who worked hard every day and took pride in earning his own way. He did this for his mother, whom he talked about with adoration but especially for his son for whom he BREATHED. Shongi, my friend, you were redeemed long ago. There is a difference between committing a bad act and being a bad person. A good person can do something awful, this doesn't forfeit his worth. Those of us who knew you will forever be better off for having had the opportunity to share space, and thus, some of your light with you. Rest peacefully and may the Father receive you in his embrace with love and mercy.

Claybourne St October 24

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More gunshots on Claybourne. It was reported Fernandes was murdered at 52 Claybourne. Tonight Stacos reported shots fired at 53 Claybourne