Pastors from Global Ministries Christian Church in Dorchester are urging neighborhood residents to help police investigate a fatal shooting that occurred beside a charter school and health center in Codman Square.
Nervan Luc, 19, of Boston, was found shot inside a car Friday evening.
“[Luc], suffering from life threatening injuries, was transported to an area hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased," Boston police said in a statement.
The Global Ministries Christian Church hosts regular broadcasts for prayer and public affairs discussions on Friday nights, but called a special edition Saturday in light of the shooting.
"If you remain silent at a time like this, you are saying to the crime and criminal element in Boston that it's alright to kill us, our family members and our neighbors," said Bruce Wall, senior pastor of Global Ministries in the emotional, hour-long broadcast. "The streets are talking, and someone has the information that could be used to bring this bring this murderer, this menace to society, to justice."
Wall said at the time of the shooting, he was in a prayer meeting broadcast at the church, which sits less than a half mile from the spot where Boston police responded to the call for a person shot near Norfolk Street and Talbot Avenue. He characterized the incident as "ironic," given its occurrence next to a meeting on public safety hosted in part by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell convened that meeting.
"I felt that we needed to say something to begin to rally the people in this area for us to begin to fight back," Wall said in an interview with WGBH News.
"We are taking responsibility in our community and calling a call to action," said Franklin Hobbs, the church's associate pastor, pointing to the gap in unsolved homicides involving black and white victims in Boston. "We're the unsolved murder capital of the nation and we're saying that that has to stop."
Activist and church member Eric Kennedy said that politically, the time is ripe for communities of color to begin increasing their interaction with law enforcement and criminal justice. He said churches like his can play a role in that. But Kennedy said he wants people who may not trust law enforcement to trust the church leadership.
Hobbs added that a turnover in leadership that includes Police Commissioner William Gross and Suffolk District Attorney-elect Rachael Rollins makes him optimistic about growing the community trust needed to solve crimes.
"We're at a precipice right now with all the change in leadership, including our district attorney, the new commissioner and our state representatives," Hobbs said. "The leadership in Massachusetts is becoming more reflective of the diversity of the community ... We're saying this is a new day."
"You're going to get caught," parishioner Lo Banks said during the Saturday broadcast, making a direct appeal for the shooter's surrender. "The chances are against you right now. If your turn yourself in, you'll be a lot better off than when they catch up with you. And if you call us, we will walk there with you."
Video of the program has since garnered more than 500 views on Facebook.