Pastor Charged With Shooting Student in Back of Head

Pastor Shaun O. Harrison reportedly shot a high school boy in the head.
Pastor Shaun O. Harrison reportedly shot a high school boy in the head. (Complex/YouTube)

Pastor Shaun O. Harrison Sr. was the dean of students at English High School in Boston. He made a name for himself in the community as the antigang pastor and his nickname was "Rev," according to a Boston Globe story.

Police say a 17-year-old boy shot in the back of the head pointed to "Rev." as his assailant. Prosecutors say the pastor was leading a double life.

"I was stunned beyond description," Rev. Dr. Gregory Groover, pastor of the Charles Street AME Church where Harrison attended services, told Fox2Now. "He seemed to consistently care with a deep heart for saving young people who were in the streets or gang related, prison-involved. That was the population that his life seemed to center around."

The 55-year-old Harrison was charged in Roxbury Municipal Court with armed assault with intent to murder, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, carrying a loaded firearm, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney David Bradley told the court that Harrison ran a marijuana distribution enterprise and had enlisted the victim to work for him until a dispute arose between them.

"It doesn't sound like our Shaun," Rev. Opal Adams, an associate pastor at the Roxbury church, told the Boston Globe. "It's not the character of the man we knew."

On Tuesday evening, Bradley said, the two left Harrison's Pompeii Street residence and were walking on Magazine Street at about 7:15 when Harrison produced a handgun, pointed it at the back of the victim's head, and fired. Harrison allegedly fled the scene on foot. Surveillance footage from a nearby business captured the incident.

Boston Police detectives investigating the shooting travelled to Harrison's residence, where they observed Lara, Peguero and Pena leaving the building. Officers detained the men, found they were in possession of marijuana, firearms and a police scanner. Their connection to Harrison and his alleged drug enterprise remain under investigation, but two of them bore tattoos similar to one Harrison has and prosecutors believe they were present at the residence to remove evidence. 

Based on evidence developed by Boston Police, including statements Harrison made to detectives, Harrison was arrested last night and terminated from his school employment. The investigation into his alleged drug ring remains very active, Conley said.

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