By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Barbara Beck has lived on Allston Street for her entire life. In fact, her grandparents and parents lived here and now her son is growing up in the same house. Four generations of her family have called this neighborhood home. And they have watched it change.

Last night, Barbara awoke to gunfire.

“It was just the one shot and then the other shot,” she said.

A graduate student at Boston University’s School of Management had been shot dead just steps from Commonwealth Avenue. Those shots Barbara Beck heard around 2:30 Thursday morning were fatal hits to the victim’s leg and to his head.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, with no apparent witnesses.

BU officials say they strive to keep students safe even in off-campus locations like this one. But Beck says locals have safety concerns, too.

“My heart is breaking for the student,” she explained, “but this isn’t just a student population. There are a lot of people that live here that are not students.”

Police say they had several good leads by late Thursday afternoon, and they stepped up patrols in the area.

At a late-day news conference, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis offered few details about the investigation, except to say that detectives had gotten some good tips about a suspect.

“It’s in an area that’s relatively crime free,” Davis said about the fatal shooting. “This happened on a street that there’s not a lot of activity on as far as crime is concerned.”

But that’s where neighbors disagree.

Ryan Hatch and his roommates moved onto Allston street this fall. He had just graduated from Bentley University and was anxious to live in the city. He’s now renting three houses down from the scene of this shooting. And it’s not his first brush with crime here.

“We’ve been broken into three or four times here,” since moving in last September, he explains. That included being broken into twice in one weekend.

“In this neighborhood there’s been crime increasing lately but not to this level,” Hatch says. And though he says he has, “never really felt in personal danger”, the murder on his block now has him and his roommates thinking differently. They are house-hunting elsewhere, effective immediately.

The way Barbara Beck sees it: “I think right now, even neighborhoods that didn’t have crime, with the economy the way it is, everybody has crime.”


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