TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Taunton teenager was hospitalized Tuesday after he was shot near a city park in broad daylight.
According to police, the 17-year-old boy was shot by a 16-year-old boy at about 1 p.m. on Hamilton Street, right next to Hopewell Park.
“We’re assuming there was some type of disagreement between the two individuals,” said Taunton Police Chief Edward Walsh. “It’s unfortunate these situations happen, that there seems to be an inordinate amount of firearms on the street, in the hands of juveniles.”
Police said the victim was struck three times and was airlifted to a Boston hospital. At last check, he was undergoing surgery.
The suspect, also from Taunton, was taken into custody on an attempted murder charge.
“It’s extremely concerning,” said Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye. “We’ve put a lot of resources into this park in the last couple years to make it a safe environment for families.”
The two teenagers have not been identified, but police said they both live in the area and probably knew each other from school.
No one else was hurt in the shooting, but nearby Coyle & Cassidy High School was placed on lockdown as a precaution. Police had the roadway blocked off for several hours.
Residents said the incident wasn’t the first time violence broke out in their neighborhood. Police say they’re dealing with the problem as best as they can, but residents say it’s still not enough.
“There’s been requests to put officers down here and it’s always been a no,” said Lori Salvia. “Well, now hopefully they’ll do something.”
“It’s a little surprising, because during the day this is a rather nice place to come down, a lot of people bring their family and kids to plays at the park,” added Arthur Norton.
In light of Tuesday’s incident, Mayor Hoye promised action.
“We’re not going to let – for lack of a better term – thugs take over this city, this area, or this city,” he said. “It’s not going to happen.”