BOSTON, Nov. 26, 2013—Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Acting Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans today identified the alleged gunman in the shooting that left Ana Cruz, Felix Garcia, and Brian Tirado dead at a house party in Roxbury this summer.
The Suffolk County Grand Jury late Friday returned indictments charging JAEL ROMERO (D.O.B. 5/30/90) with three counts of second-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm for the June 22 incident at 153 Intervale St. Romero is currently held on open, unrelated charges in Bristol County and a warrant has been lodged to hold him in the event that he posts bail in that case.
Evidence developed during the past five months by Boston Police homicide detectives on the street and Suffolk homicide prosecutors behind the closed doors of the grand jury suggests that Romero and the three victims were among those present at an after-hours party when an altercation erupted among Garcia, Tirado, and a friend of Romero. Romero allegedly drew a handgun and fired multiple rounds, striking Garcia, Tirado, and Cruz, who was not part of the altercation.
Garcia, 22, died of his injuries at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Cruz, 22, and Tirado, 23, died of their injuries at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“This defendant was arrested with the help of the community and the relentless detectives who pursued every lead,” Commissioner Evans said, “Getting guns and violent offenders off Boston’s streets is the Department’s number one priority. This arrest sends a clear message to anyone who seeks to commit violent acts in our neighborhoods – we will find you and bring you to justice.”
“This was a careful, methodical investigation that never lost steam,” DA Conley said. “I hope the community feels some satisfaction knowing that there will be accountability for this terrible crime, and I hope the victims’ families take some comfort knowing that we never lost sight of their loved ones as we pursued this result.”
Romero was already facing a gun charge at the time of the homicides. He was arrested on Aug. 27, 2012, for unlawful possession of a firearm after Boston Police recovered a Cobra FS380 semiautomatic handgun loaded with seven rounds of ammunition from his car. He was held on $20,000 cash bail at his arraignment later the same day in Dorchester District Court. Over prosecutors’ objections, that bail was later lowered to $10,000, which he was able to post. Prosecutors successfully argued against Romero’s efforts to have that gun suppressed from evidence, but Romero appealed and the case is still pending.
Romero was arrested again on July 2 of this year following a chase that began in Seekonk and ended in Rhode Island. He has posted bail for offenses allegedly committed in Rhode Island and is currently held on high bail on gun and stolen vehicle charges in Bristol County. His bail on the open 2012 gun case has been revoked.
Romero is expected to be arraigned on the murder charges early next month in Suffolk Superior Court. An arraignment date has not been scheduled.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.