Victim shot outside Jeremiah Burke High School sues Boston and school district for negligence


The lawsuit alleged that metal detectors at Burke should have stopped a gun from entering the school, but didn’t.

A picture of the front of Jeremiah Burke High School in Dorchester.
A teen and his family are suing the City of Boston and the school district after the teen was shot at Jeremiah Burke High School in October 2022. David L Ryan/Boston Globe

The family of a teen who was shot in the stomach last year at his school, Jeremiah Burke High in Dorchester, is suing the City of Boston and the school district for negligence and emotional distress, according to a lawsuit filed last week.

The plaintiffs — which include the teen boy, his mother, and her other two children who were also shot at but not hit — argued that the school failed to enforce safety protocols and therefore allowed the alleged shooter to have a gun on campus in the first place.

The suit names the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, BPS Superintendent Mary Skipper, and Burke principal Amilcar Silva as the defendants. 

The shooting occurred on Oct. 4, 2022, just before 9:30 a.m. outside of the school. Before shots were fired, the plaintiff was being threatened by the suspected shooter, a juvenile Burke student at the time, inside the school. According to reporting from The Boston Globe, a police report said the 18-year-old victim and 16-year-old brother were fighting with the suspected shooter.

The two brothers walked out of the building to their mother’s car, who was picking them up. That’s when the suspect allegedly shot at their car, hitting the 18-year-old victim in the stomach twice and the family’s car at least once, according to the lawsuit. According to reporting from the Globe, a school staff member “had the suspect stopped in front of the school” before he started shooting at the family.

The victim’s sister, 3, was also in the car at the time of the shooting.

The lawsuit claims that the metal detectors at Burke weren’t on or working properly, allowing the suspected shooter to bring a gun into school. The complaint also points out that this shooting and failure to detect a gun before entering the school occurred just weeks after a student was stabbed by another student. 

“The Defendants’ failure to prevent a second violent incident at the same school less than a month later is egregious,” the suit said. 

The teen was hospitalized for two weeks and has received ongoing treatment since the shooting because of the gunshot wounds. The lawsuit claims that all four plaintiffs have been traumatized by the shooting, with the victim especially scared to attend school.

The family is seeking damages to pay for their injuries, emotional distress, and medical expenses.