On Dorchester street, shooting brings back painful memories

Police find man wounded in house on Lyndhurst St.

Police investigated a house at 22 Lyndhurst Street where a 43-year-old male was shot in the neck Monday. Police investigated a house at 22 Lyndhurst Street where a 43-year-old male was shot in the neck Monday. (Matthew J. Lee/ Globe Staff)
By John M. Guilfoil and Vivian Ho
Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent / August 31, 2010

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After a man was shot in his home last night, bad memories came back to a Dorchester neighborhood that residents say has made much progress since five years ago, when it was so plagued by drugs and violence that pastors and police kept 24-hour watch there.

Officers responded to 22 Lyndhurst St. near Codman Square at 9:30 last night, where they found a man shot in the neck, said Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department.

The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he is expected to recover, Driscoll said.

Church pastors and neighbors said the victim is Edward Toney, the son of Greer Toney, who they said runs the Chez Vous Roller Skating Rink in Mattapan.

There was no word on a suspect or possible motive last night. Police at the scene were seeking to review security footage from a nearby apartment.

Neighbors said they heard about six gunshots. The shooting echoed strongly on the street among longtime residents.

“It certainly gives you pause,’’ said Jay Scott, a teacher at Boston English High School, who lives across the street.

“It’s disturbing,’’ echoed her husband, the Rev. Mark Scott of the Azusa Christian Community church on Washington Street.

The Scotts are part of a group of homeowners, including a local college professor, who have worked to improve conditions on Lyndhurst. While the victim is expected to survive, it was another incident of violence on a street that has seen its share over the years.

In 2005, residents referred to parts of Lyndhurst as “hell zone,’’ with drug crimes and violence running out of control.

That year, a neighborhood Fourth of July party turned deadly when three men crashed the party and started fighting with residents. They were asked to leave, but one of them returned with a gun and started shooting into the crowd. Police said he accidentally shot and killed his friend, Marcus DuBose, 28.

The Rev. Bruce H. Wall, leader of the Global Ministries Outreach Church in Codman Square, spent a week on the street at the time interacting with young people, trying to spread a message of peace.

“This is fairly atypical for this street in recent years,’’ the Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, pastor of Azusa Christian Community and cofounder of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, said last night as he watched investigators comb the street for evidence.

Rivers said he was on the phone with Mark Scott when he heard the sirens.

“This is unrepresentative of this street,’’ Rivers said. “This was a problem corner, but in the last five to six years it’s been quiet. This is unrepresentative of this street. You have serious homeowners that maintain their homes.’’

As recently as 2008, a day after his 17th birthday, De’Andre Barboza, was gunned down at the corner of Lyndhurst and Washington streets. Rivers was assaulted on the Washington Street corner, also in 2008.

Rivers said the victim’s mother, Greer Toney, is a “community legend’’ who managed to keep Chez Vous open for many years as a community institution and safe haven for urban youth.

Jay Scott said residents need to continue to band together on Lyndhurst Street.

“You need a crucial mass to make a change, and if we all move out to the suburbs, how can we make a difference?’’ Jay Scott said. “If we want to make a difference and change what’s happening with kids here, then we have to stay. This is not a horrible place.’’

Another Lyndhurst resident was not so hopeful. “I should have been out of here yesterday,’’ said Sandra Morris.

John M. Guilfoil can be reached at Vivian Ho can be reached at

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