BOSTON — 15-year-old Juliana Howard and her 11-year-old brother Johan were injured in a barrage of gunfire while playing outside their home in the Franklin Field Housing community in Dorchester.
Three adults were also hit by the bullets at the Franklin Field housing community in Dorchester Sunday night around 8:30.
Joanna Algarin, the mother of Juliana and Johan, told Boston 25 News in an exclusive interview that she was making her family dinner when she heard what sounded like fireworks. She recalled both of her kids playing near her when they were shot.
“My 11-year-old son is intelligent, witty and strong and now traumatized by this heinous act,” says Algarin.
Johan is a sixth grader at Charles Taylor Elementary in Mattapan and has been released from Boston Children’s Hospital after being shot in the leg.
But Juliana, a sophomore at the Community Academy of Science and Health in Dorchester, remains on a ventilator in critical condition at Boston Medical Center on Wednesday.
“My daughter is a straight a student she received an award for receiving one of the top MCAS scores in the state” says Algarin.
Juliana took a photo next to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu while celebrating her high achieving test score last year. This was a proud moment for the young girl who Algarin says has overcome many challenges despite living with autism.
“The event that I had a chance to see the family at was to celebrate our young superstars in the school district. Young people who are really doing great work” Mayor Wu tells Boston 25.
Mayor Wu says she remembers the excitement felt by all in the city council chambers that day.
“Just to remember the feeling of excitement and eagerness to growing and learning and be a leader in the city,” says Wu. “We need to make sure all of our young people experience that and not have it be tempered by any fear of violence.”
It was vastly different from her recent interaction with Juliana and Johan’s family this week.
“I have had a chance to connect with family members and obviously is just something that no mom, no family should ever have to experience,” says Wu.
“These children deserve to be outside with or without their parents. The mayor needs to do better,” says the children’s aunt.
Wu says, “these are beloved young people. They’ve grown up here in this city and in this community. We’re gonna do everything we can to continue to support the family.“
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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