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Argument leads to shooting death

Man is Boston’s first homicide victim in 2011

Boston police in the area along Blue Hill Avenue where one man was fatally shot yesterday afternoon. Boston police in the area along Blue Hill Avenue where one man was fatally shot yesterday afternoon. (Bill Brett for The Boston Globe)
By Erin Ailworth
Globe Staff / January 5, 2011

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An argument inside a Mattapan clothing store yesterday afternoon escalated into a shooting on the sidewalk outside that left one man dead in the city’s first homicide this year.

Few details were available last night. Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said the shooting “was the result of an altercation that began inside the Threadz store’’ on Blue Hill Avenue.

Officials did not identify the victim, a man in his mid-20s, who was found outside the store with several gunshot wounds just before 1:20 p.m. The man was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, police said.

Police were still investigating the shooting death last night, and two officers were posted outside the Threadz store, which had been cordoned off with yellow tape.

The store, described on Yelp.com as a contemporary men’s sportswear store, is tucked between a corner pizza shop and a church along Blue Hill Avenue.

Yesterday’s shooting is the first homicide of the year for the Boston Police Department, which saw a nearly 50 percent increase in homicides last year. More than 70 people were killed in 2010, which started with a deadly shooting and a separate stabbing incident on New Year’s Day. Most of last year’s homicides involved a firearm, Boston police statistics show.

“We’ll continue to do everything we can to address the violence,’’ said Driscoll, who added that while homicides increased in 2010, overall violent crimes dropped slightly.

Erin Ailworth can be reached at eailworth@globe.com.