BOSTON, Dec. 28, 2015— A Jamaica Plain gang member was sentenced to prison today after he admitted to injuring two women when he opened fire on a rival at a crowded MBTA station earlier this year, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
REGINALD PRICE (D.O.B. 2/18/96) pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to three counts of armed assault with intent to murder, two counts each of assault by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery by discharging a firearm, and single counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition, all in connection with the Jan. 26 incident at Forest Hills station.
Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Megrian of the DA’s Gang Unit recommended that Price be sentenced to 10 to 15 years in state prison; Judge Peter Krupp imposed a term of seven years in prison followed by five years of probation during which time Price must seek and maintain employment or education and stay away and have no contact with the victims of the January shooting.
Had the case proceeded to trial, Megrian would have presented evidence and testimony to prove that Price became involved in a verbal dispute with another male at the Forest Hills MBTA station at approximately 1:45 p.m. that afternoon. Price left the station but soon returned with an associate and again engaged in conversation with the person he had previously argued with. That individual, an alleged gang rival, was soon joined by two other males, the evidence would have shown.
The three males followed Price and his associate until Price produced a Sig Sauer P239 .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol and opened fire. He missed each of his intended targets and instead struck two women who were inside the crowded station, the evidence showed.
One victim, a 24-year-old woman, was grazed in the head, and the other, a 62-year-old woman, was struck in the abdomen.
“We sometimes hear that victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Conley said. “But a subway station isn’t the wrong place and the middle of the afternoon isn’t the wrong time. These two women had every right to be where they were without being shot at. But for the grace of God and Boston EMS, this could have been a double homicide case.”
Transit Police responded to the station and retrieved footage from public safety cameras that captured the incident. Price and his companion fled the station on foot in the direction of Southwest Corridor Park but were stopped by Boston Police who had heard a broadcast of the shooting suspect’s description.
During a post-Miranda interview with police, Price made statements indicating that the firearm could be found in a trash barrel in Southwest Corridor Park, directly across the street from the MBTA station. The recovered firearm proved to be a ballistic match to shell casings at the scene of the shooting. Price later made statements to another individual while in custody at South Bay House of Correction admitting to the shooting.
Before Price’s sentence was imposed, one of his victims delivered an impact statement to the court, while the second submitted a statement to the court in writing.
“I lost my sense of safety, my feeling of comfort in my own home, my sense of security when leaving my home to go to school, work, or anywhere else, as the MBTA was my primary mode of transportation at the time of the shooting. I have confronted feelings of deep anxiety, fearing that I will be hurt again or that family members or loved ones will also be the victims of undeserving and unprovoked gun violence,” the younger victim told the court. “I hope that whatever time he serves will center around serving others, improving the community, learning about alternatives to violence, reflecting on how to help, rather than hurt, those around him.”
The elder victim, whose injuries were so severe that Boston Police Homicide detectives were initially called, was hospitalized for six days after the shooting and a fragment of the bullet that struck her remains in her body.
“The wounds and internal injuries to multiple organs have left my body weak and unable to perform many daily chores and activities. I can’t even walk for more than a short distance before feeling short of breath and need to stop. It has also affected me mentally. I cannot focus and my mind is not the same as before. The anxiety and the depression make living life very difficult and at times feel like I’ve lost the will to live,” she wrote to the court.
Jassie Senwah was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Price was represented by Kelli Porges.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.