Perris Haynes is dead -- his death a quiet addition to the list of Boston murders linked to street violence. Not surprising that except for those who cared about him, he seems to be just another statistic; not surprising that there is virtually no response from a public either removed from the violence or discouraged by failed efforts to stop the bloodletting.

A closer look at Perris’ life is a reminder of how Boston’s street violence often touches people just trying to make their way in the world.

Although violence was the context of Perris’ life, he had not allowed it to define his life. The 29-year-old navigated his way through the gang activity that permeated his neighborhood working to support his daughter and significant other. On the night he was killed, he had just finished a job DJing a party. At 1 a.m., he called his girlfriend to say he was on his way home. Shortly after that call, police say he was struck by the ever-present gunfire that marks some Boston streets.

I’m not unaware about the incidents of violence, or about the stories of innocents like Perris caught in the crossfire, but I, too, have become numb to the shock of it. Somehow Perris’ personal story -- chronicled in the Boston Herald -- pierced through my fog of routine acceptance.

He was, by all accounts, someone every community wants: the fix-it guy, the great boyfriend, the loving father, the hard worker and the helpful neighbor. Reading about who he was, I was struck by what’s at stake --  his absence not only costs his loved ones, and immediate neighborhood, but also the city’s larger community. Since April’s Boston bombing, more than 140 people have been killed by violence. Who knows what their contributions might have been?

Dr. Martin Luther King wisely said, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Even if we are privileged to live far away from the scenes of the violence, we have to recognize physical separation does not disconnect us from those who are there.

And we have a role to play. Instead of giving in to helplessness and avoidance, we can keep talking about it, pledge support to those who are tackling the problem on the ground, and demand of those who would be mayor to make antiviolence policies as integral to the business as, say, the “business of the city."

In an awful twist of fate, Perris Haynes’ body was discovered by someone whose own son had been gunned down. She was among those who gathered to mourn his passing at a sidewalk memorial. They will honor his life by remembering who he was, and what he could have been, and so will I.