The fatal shooting of two men outside the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments in Jamaica Plain last week has left many residents of the public housing project wary and anxious. Boston Police are investigating the May 4 shooting of the men, both bystanders.

Sitting on the stoop of her unit, a woman named Luz dangled a cigarette nervously between her fingers. She declined to give a last name because, she said, that would not be a smart thing to do in this housing project.

“I stay in my house because of this, you know, just not to get [into] crossfires and get in the middle of it, because I've got two kids to worry about,” Luz said.

There have been other shootings in the Hailey Apartments, she said, but this one really has her on edge because of its boldness.

“They shot and then they reloaded and they shot again,” Luz recalled. “And I'm upstairs panicking, and my anxiety is like extremely like high, like I don't even want to be in these projects. I don't want to live here anymore. My kids don't even want to live here.”

Walking around the complex, most doors are closed, windows too. A gray-haired resident carrying groceries into his apartment waved me off after spotting the microphone and audio recorder I carried. Then I approached two men in a concrete corridor.

“You guys want to talk to me for just a minute?” I asked.

“Nah, we don’t want to think about it bro’,” one of the men replied.

Other residents I encountered also preferred to keep to themselves their thoughts about the shootings and the police’s response.

The shooting took place under a night sky with summer temperatures. When officers arrived, they found on the ground dying Clayborn Blair, a 58-year-old father of three, and 23-year old Christopher Joyce, a Salem State University student.

Police Commissioner Bill Evans said he believed the men were caught in an explosion of somebody else’s rage, a crossfire that ended two innocent lives.

Joyce had gone to the project to visit his family, including James Taylor, an uncle who seemed as perplexed as many of the strangers who stood over a makeshift memorial.

“I don’t know what happened. I just hear it on the news. That’s it,” Taylor said. “I ain’t hear nothing about nothing, but the cops got to step up around here.”

Taylor emphasized that “cops got to step up.” When I told him anti-gang detectives said they were not getting the cooperation they need to solve these homicides and others, Taylor shrugged.

Taylor had planned to attend his nephew’s graduation from Salem State next week, he said, but now would be attending his funeral instead.

The Hailey Apartments were once known as the Bromley Heath project, where some young men gained street reputations for settling fights with firearms. Last January, eight suspected members of the so-called Heath Street Gang were indicted on drug and gun charges. Heath Street borders the back of the apartment complex.

Mayor Marty Walsh said what happened there recently is not inherent to any particular housing project.

“No, it's not. It's a question of guns, access to guns. We have to get guns off the street,” Walsh said. “On that shooting. I visited the family yesterday. Horrible tragedy. I mean it's just so sad, senseless violence. The police department, we’re making some progress on the case, but in this situation in urban America there's too many guns on the street. And we've got to continue to work to get the guns off the street. That's our problem.”

Meanwhile, Luz, still sitting on her stoop in the Hailey complex and still shaken, said she worries about the summer months ahead, with so many young people hanging out with nothing to do.

“I think they should give these guys jobs. They need some programs. They need help. People need to reach out to them,” Luz said. “If not, it's just going to keep going, like they put them in jail and then they throw them out. And it's like, okay, what are they supposed to do? They're going to go back on the corner and they are going to do the same thing. And what's going to happen? More violence, more kids. You know, more kids are going to die.

A task force of Hailey residents working with police and the mayor said they will do they can to try to prevent more deadly violence, but there are no guarantees.