Cambridge holds virtual meeting to stop gun violence after murder of 19-year-old

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The murder is now more than a week old, but still fresh in the minds of people who live near the basketball courts on Pemberton Street where the memorial for Xavier Louis-Jacques remains.

The community didn’t gather there Tuesday, but virtually to discuss how to make the community safer and to get an update on how they can help.

The 19-year-old was shot and killed near Rindge Field, right under a street light.

“We were out there that night, it literally was lit up like daytime,” said District Attorney Marian Ryan during the virtual ‘Safe Streets, Safe City’ Meeting. “The car was locked and he had his watch, his car keys his wallet, and money, so while we can’t say definitively at this point that robbery couldn’t have been a motive and it was unsuccessful, seems unlikely because everything was there with him.”

Partly because of the public outcry, community leaders updated residents during this virtual Meeting Tuesday. The DA says they are still working on a motive.

“We know robbery probably is not a motive,” Ryan said. “Whoever did this is pretty brazen. That happened right under a street light right in the middle of the street where he suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was left there only to be discovered by these passersby. We’ve been pursuing every lead since that time, police officers have canvassed the neighborhood conducted lots of interviews, as you know the city of camera Cambridge does not have city cameras we have been able to locate some private video that we are reviewing.”

District Attorney Ryan and the Cambridge police commissioner begged the public for help, saying any little bit of information from that night they say can help them close this case.

“He was selling sneakers, he was a security guard at MIT, he was working overnight several nights a week saving up to go to college, he was a very bright kid so it’s a tragedy,” said longtime friend Niles Cohen. “Although it’s a tragedy we’re definitely celebrating his life because he touched so many people in so many ways. I was grateful for the last 13 years to know him and to be in his presence and I know his close friends feel the same way.”

Family and community members used the time to ask questions and discuss what needs to be done to stop senseless violence.

“That’s a very big question,” said Cohen. “You always tell people to stay on the right path and things won’t happen to you but he wasn’t somebody was on the wrong path.”

“I think overall it’s just sad, it’s sad to see kids get killed and for stuff that you think is not worth it,” said Cambridge resident Rupinder Singh. “Unfortunately, it’s probably not the first one that happened in this neighborhood and it won’t be the last.”

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