UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Man under arrest for shooting on MBTA bus in Mattapan

Josh Kotler
MBTA employees take a break outside of a bus sitting at the JFK/UMass station in Boston, MA. Photo by Josh Kotler / Mass Media Staff

On Monday, Mar. 21, a 30-year-old man was shot on the 21 MBTA bus in Mattapan. On Wednesday, Mar. 23, Ricardo Blake, age 35, was arrested by the MBTA Transit Police in connection with the shooting that occurred earlier in the week.

Police arrived in the area of 943 Morton St. in Boston around 10:25 a.m. Monday morning after reports that a person had been shot aboard a public bus. After their arrival, the shooter disappeared onto Lorna Road and then into various backyards.

A writer from Boston 25 News reports: “A homeowner on West Selden Street told me the suspect was recorded on home video surveillance wearing a heavy hooded jacket, jumping a backyard fence before disappearing underneath a backyard deck where a recycling bin is located.”

According to the Boston 25 News writer, West Selden Street is also the location where Transit Police were spotted following the shooting. Investigators were seen in a home’s backyard, and “recovered evidence from a receptacle, including…a gun.” 

The Boston Globe reports that the Transit Police claimed: “Authorities said it appears the alleged shooter and the victim ‘were engaged in a verbal altercation prior to the incident.’”

The victim was found with a gunshot wound in his left leg, according to the police. He was transported on Monday to a hospital in the area for injuries that were deemed to be non-life-threatening.

The bus was sectioned off as a crime scene and sealed with police tape until 12:23 p.m., when it was towed from the stop near Morton and West Selden Streets. According to The Boston Globe, “a number of investigators were seen gathered outside the vehicle.”

Blake remained at large until he was found on Wednesday morning around 11:30 a.m. in the 1600 block of Hyde Park Avenue in Boston.

The MBTA Transit Police posted an update regarding the arrest to their blog on Wednesday.

“Blake will face numerous firearm related charges as well as Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon-Firearm,” reads the MBTA Transit Police statement. 

What led up to the shooting—besides the verbal altercation that occurred on the bus—still remains under investigation, according to MassLive.

The Boston Globe spoke to several individuals who take the 21 bus regularly.

“It’s terrible,” said Pamela Sutton, a 66-year-old who takes the 21 bus to Forest Hills to get to work every day. “We can’t even go to work. We can’t even, you know, do anything…These guns are just getting out of control. And no one’s trying to do anything about it.”

“When I was taking [the MBTA] back in the day, you know, there were certain times I would take it. But I wouldn’t think 10:30 in the morning on a Monday was gonna be a dangerous time, especially not in broad daylight,” said Lanelle Fleming, a mother who lives a few doors down from the stop where the shooting occurred. Fleming is concerned not for her own safety, but for the safety of her son, who frequently rides the bus.

The MBTA Transit Police website offers a variety of ways an individual can report an emergency. 

“If you need to report an emergency, dial 911 or call 617-222-1212,” reads the website. “You can also report emergencies anonymously with the SeeSay App on your iPhone or Android device. We monitor the app 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you can expect a response within a few minutes.”

About the Contributor
Josh Kotler, Photographer