BOSTON, Dec. 24, 2013—The alleged gunman in a June homicides of Ana Cruz, Felix Garcia, and Brian Tirado was ordered held without bail at his arraignment today, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
JAEL ROMERO (D.O.B. 5/30/90), who has claimed residences in Chelsea and Roxbury, was indicted Nov. 22 on three counts of second-degree murder and firearms offenses for the June 22 shootings at an Intervale Street house party. At the request of Assistant District Attorney Gretchen Lundgren, Suffolk Superior Court Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson ordered Romero held without bail pending trial, currently scheduled for December 2014.
Lundgren told the court that “dozens” of people were present at the scene when a fight between two groups of men broke out at about 4:20 a.m. Romero and a friend were among one group; Garcia, 22, and Tirado, 23, were among the other.
“The fight escalated when the defendant’s friend was stabbed,” Lundgren said. “The defendant fired five shots into the crowd.”
Garcia and Tirado were mortally wounded, Lundgren said, as was Cruz, who at 22 was completely uninvolved in the altercation. All three were transported to area hospitals and all three died of their injuries.
In the aftermath of the shootings, Lundgren said, Romero and his friend fled the scene. He was later identified as being present, however, and allegedly made admissions about shooting two men and a woman, “bragging that he had gotten away with shooting three individuals at a house party in Boston.”
In early July, Romero allegedly stole a car in Seekonk and ended up in Providence, Rhode Island. He has been charged in both jurisdictions and faces gun and stolen vehicle charges. Moreover, he was on probation following an assault and battery conviction at the time of the shooting and was also free on another pending firearms charge – a charge for which prosecutors had argued unsuccessfully for higher bail.
“He clearly has access to weapons and is a danger to the community,” Lundgren said.
Romero was represented by attorney Jack Cunha. He will return to court on Feb. 6.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.