DORCHESTER, Boston—Information to Amandala is that a young Belizean-American woman was murdered in Dorchester, Boston, over the past weekend while taking part in the city’s annual Caribbean Carnival, and today, a teenager was arraigned in Boston for her murder.
Boston police said that this past Saturday, August 23, shortly after 8:00 a.m., officers assigned to a parade associated with the city’s annual Caribbean Festival heard gunshots and later found Dawnn Ashley Jaffier, 26, suffering from gunshot wounds in the area of Charlotte and Blue Hill Avenues in the Dorchester neighborhood.
Jaffier was rushed to Boston Medical Center, where she later succumbed to her injuries, and today, Amandala spoke to her cousin, Helen Kuylen-Lewis, who told us that the victim was a teacher who had recently completed her university studies and had been taking part in the parade as part of a Boys and Girls Club, when she stepped on the sidelines for a short time and was callously shot in the head.
Lewis informed us that Jaffier, who was engaged at the time of her death, was a well-loved member of the community who worked with children who displayed behavioral and other problems.
Lewis described her as a charming, loving and adorable young woman who knew what she wanted in life.
We understand that Jaffier died in the arms of her mother, Althea Lewis, while being treated at the hospital, and her family is extremely distraught, especially since Lewis, who is originally from Dangriga, only had two children, Dawnn and her younger brother, who also lives in the United States.
Boston police reported that they questioned three men after the shooting, and while two were later released, a third, Keith Williams, 18, was arrested and initially charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
Those charges, however, were upgraded today and Williams was arraigned this morning in the Dorchester Municipal Court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, in addition to unlawful possession of a firearm in the death of Dawnn Jaffier.
Today, CBS Boston reported that the prosecutor for the case said that on Saturday morning, Williams fired several shots from a .357 revolver in the direction of Charlotte Street, where Jaffier was marching in the parade.
Williams has been remanded into custody and is scheduled to reappear in court October 14, 2014.
Boston police said that they have not yet ascertained if the incident was connected to the parade; however, they do not think that Jaffier was the intended target.
According to the Associated Press, a second woman was also found nearby with non-life threatening gunshot injuries.
In a news conference at the Boston Police headquarters today after the arraignment, Police Commissioner Bill Evans and Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley asked for the public’s help as the investigation continues.
Evans observed that the shooting took place despite the heavy presence of police for the parade. “It just shows you how brazen these young kids can be,” he said.
Conley referred to Jaffier, a resident of Brighton who worked at a city elementary school, as “exactly the kind of person we need more of”, while friends and co-workers described her as dedicated to the city’s children and teenagers.
The commissioner stated that investigators believe that the shooting was gang-related; however, Conley commented that it is incorrect to say Jaffier was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“She had every right to be on Blue Hill Avenue on a beautiful Saturday morning,” the DA said, as he asked the young men carrying guns in Dorchester to find it in themselves to end the feuds that lead to senseless shootings.