By Seth Daniel
As Chelsea Police continue to work the case involving the murder of Jimmy Vasquez, 15, last Friday afternoon, Jan. 13, on Shurtleff Street, another family is preparing to bury a teen-age boy lost to street violence after a deadly drive-by shooting.
Faces of the young men who have been gunned down over the last few years as a result of violence on the streets tend to become pressed into the memory of the City – such as with Pablo Villeda last year and Irvin De Paz in 2015 – and now another teen will also take his place in that horrible lineup of children taken way too soon.
This time, it’s only a 15-year-old boy…again.
Jimmy Vasquez, described as a funny and caring freshman at Chelsea High School who community leaders said was hanging out with friends on Shurtleff Street and “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
A wake and funeral for Vasquez is scheduled for today, Jan. 19, from 4-8 p.m. at Anthony Memorial Funeral Home, 718 Broadway. A Mass will take place on Friday at 10 a.m. in St. Rose Church, with burial to take place in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Already the family, who is from El Salvador, has been supported by a community GoFundMe web page that had raised more than $8,000 of its $10,000 goal by Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Chelsea Police are working the case diligently with State Police, trying to get young people with information to come forward to help with the investigation.
Suffolk County DA Dan Conley’s office said the shooting occurred on Shurtleff Street just after 5:30 p.m. Friday evening, Jan. 13. The shooting claimed the life of Vasquez, and injured a second male, 16, when he was shot in the foot. The second victim was treated and released from an area hospital. The investigation is very active but authorities are seeking the public’s help in locating the vehicle, possibly an older model Honda or similar vehicle; silver or gray in color. The vehicle in question is seen on surveillance video parking at the corner of Shurtleff Street at Grove Street at approximately 5:30 p.m. The vehicle is then seen after the shooting, in heavy traffic, backing and turning down Grove Street against one way traffic onto Broadway.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino immediately ordered walking patrols, two officers at a time, to resume in the Bellingham Square area. Those patrols had been discontinued on Nov. 1 as a result of the cold weather, but they will now be in place until further notice.
“I can’t put into words how disheartened and deflated I feel this morning,” said Ambrosino on Saturday. “Together, we have put so much emphasis and resources into trying to combat youth violence in this City and into making our residents feel safe – additional funds for more police officers; increased walking patrols; additional street workers and social workers targeting at-risk youth; additional funds for youth jobs. Despite all of these effort, we have another tragedy on our hands. After almost a year of relentless efforts to attack this problem and improve the perception of safety about our Downtown…, we are again undermined by a sudden, fleeting incident of youth violence that has forever devastated another Chelsea family.”
The walking patrols will take place from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. daily until further notice.
Tipsters may contact Chelsea Police at 617-466-4880 or the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit at 617-727-8817
Chelsea Police remind the community they can report crimes or suspicious activity anonymously in various formats. Citizens can call the 24 hr “tips” line at 617-466-4880, email reports directly from the departments website at www.chelseapolice.com or download for free the MYPD App that is compatible with both Android and Apple smart phones. All three ways are monitored and totally anonymous.
Jimmy Vasquez, 15, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Shurtleff Street last Friday, Jan. 13. Services will be held today, Jan. 19, and Friday, Jan. 20. The family, originally from El Salvador, is being supported by a community GoFundMe page called Jimmy’s Meaningless Loss.