Reporting Beth Germano
MALDEN (CBS) – As a group of teens in Malden lit candles and placed balloons and flowers outside Patriot Skateboards on Main Street, it was a tribute to 39-year-old Shawn Clark’s influence in the community.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Karen Twomey reports
The shop owner mentored many in a tight-knit skateboarding community before being gunned down in broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon. “He was a dad to a lot of us and now to see him gone,” said one teen who did not want to be identified.
Inside the shop were apparent signs of a struggle with gunmen as the counter was smashed and debris was strewn. Outside several shell casings were scattered in the street, gunshots that were heard by nearby store owners as shots were fired just before 1 p.m.
“All of a sudden I heard five loud bangs. It sounded a little strange, I thought it was a truck or something,” said Ken Ricci of Ricci’s Liquors.
Teens that often flocked around Clark, a marine and veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, sat numb on benches outside his shop.
Travis Guckerd called him a positive influence. “He’s been like a rock, someone you could come to and be in a safe place, skate around, have fun and talk.”
The question on everyone’s mind is who and why. Witnesses saw two men flee the scene as Clark went down fighting for his life. “I think it was totally random,” said P.J. Joseph who lives above the shop. “I don’t think it was any more than someone thinking they could get away with something. Shawn was not going to let that happen because this was his life, his livelihood.”
A spokesperson for the Middlesex District Attorney will only say the investigation is ongoing. But at the store that’s often called home a powerful voice has been silenced as the outrage continues to grow.