A Barbadian-American retired nurse who cared for the wounded six years ago in a Boston terrorist attack is dead, caught in the crossfire of gunplay as she stepped outside her home. Her death had triggered outrage in the Boston community she lived in for decades, according to media reports.
Eleanor Maloney, 74, was an innocent bystander caught in crossfire, Boston Police said.
Even as the Boston Globe reported that a 37-year-old male suspect was in police custody for the fatal shooting, residents in the Boston district of Mattapan have been demanding answers.
Police confirmed that Maloney was killed in a shooting that took place around 5 p.m. Two other men were shot in the incident.
“We cannot allow a mother and grandmother to die in the streets of Boston,” said Bishop William Dickerson of the Greater Love Tabernacle in nearby Dorchester, Massachusetts. “We’re obligated to stand up. We’re obligated to support this family … We’re angry as a community. We’re outraged.”
One 50-year-old man, who only identified himself as Mark, passed by the the house and placed flowers on the sidewalk.
“It’s such a tragedy. You can’t even enjoy yourself without being shot,” he said to reporters. “She’s innocent, and she got shot. It’s tragic. This affects the whole community, ” he told the Boston Herald.
Maloney was a nurse at the Boston Medical Center for some 44 years.
Mayor Martin Walsh told the Boston Herald he spoke with family members on Saturday, who told him Maloney had just retired.
Walsh said: “She was the matriarch of the family. Just a really sad situation … Nobody should have to worry about going in front of their house and being shot. It’s a lot of irresponsibility on behalf of the people that have the guns.
“When all these people with guns out there think that they live in an era of a movie with guns, innocent people get killed and that’s what happened last night. And it’s a horrible tragedy in the city of Boston that we have a woman dead because she went outside.”
Friends and neighbours on Sunday recalled Maloney as a generous soul who helped thousands of patients during her decades-long career at Boston Medical Center, media reports said.
The Barbados-born grandmother lived at her Mattapan home for decades.
“She was an angel. She was so sweet. She loved everything,” said Phyllis David, who worked with Maloney for about 20 years at Boston Medical Center. “She didn’t have a mean bone in her body, she told the Boston Globe.
Maloney was on the job during the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, helping with the hospital’s response to the wounded, David said.
Dave Kibbe, a hospital spokesman was quoted as saying Maloney retired in February 2015.