‘I don’t wish this on anyone’: Mother of two kids shot in Dorchester denounces violence

BOSTON — The mother of an 11-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl wounded in a hail of gunfire is pleading for the violence to stop.

Three adults were also hit by the bullets at the Franklin Field housing community in Dorchester Sunday night around 8:30.

Joanna Algarin told Boston 25 News that she was making her family dinner when she heard what sounded like fireworks.

She said she had just ventured outside to grill chicken after preparing side dishes inside their apartment.

She recalled both of her kids playing near her when they were injured.

11-year-old Johan Howard, a sixth grader at Charles Taylor Elementary in Mattapan, has been released from Boston Children’s Hospital after being shot in the leg.

15-year-old Juliana Howard, a sophomore at the Community Academy of Science and Health in Dorchester, is on a ventilator in critical condition at Boston Medical Center.

“No mother should be going through what I’m going through,” cried Algarin. “I don’t wish this on anyone.”

Her daughter suffered four gunshot wounds.

Algarin said one of the bullets pierced Juliana’s head.

“I will let you know that what you consider juvenile is a straight-A student [who] made it to the third place in MCAS in the city of Boston,” said Algarin “My children are not running out and about.”

Juliana took a photo next to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu while celebrating her high achieving test score last year.

Algarin told Boston 25 News that her daughter has overcome many obstacles while living with autism and global developmental delay.

“She loves butterflies, bright colors, chocolate, ice cream and so much more,” said Algarin. “My beautiful spirit daughter is now fighting for her life.”

Algarin said her son is traumatized by what happened and too scared to come back to the place where he and his sister were shot.

“Violence has got to stop. It’s always someone who doesn’t deserve it,” she added. “This is senseless.”

Algarin and other family members said they were not involved in a small gathering happening nearby around the time of the shooting.

They aren’t sure where the shots came from and believe both of these kids were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“It’s not safe for any of these children to be out here. Something needs to be done. Not only election time, always,” said aunt Jessica Huertas.

No arrests have been made in Sunday night’s shooting.

Police said they have increased patrols in and around the Franklin Field housing community following what happened.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Boston Police Department’s homicide unit at 617-343-4470. Anonymous tips can be called into the CrimeStoppers tip line at 1-800-494-TIPS.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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