It is graduation time. Graduations often mean graduation parties. Parties, sometimes, bring violence. In the case of one such Dorchester party, that violence ended up being the death of three individuals.

Witnesses to the triple Massachusetts murder remain in shock over the violence which ensued after uninvited guests crashed the graduation party.

“I was close enough I could’ve got shot…Everybody scattered from the back to the front”, described a woman who identified herself as the Intervale Street party’s hostess.

She said the party started with 10 to 15 close friends and family members. Then, her boyfriend said that people from the street below heard the music and started to fill up the apartment.

“We tried to lock the door. As soon as I walked away all of a sudden I hear a commotion. It was in my house! I’m a mother! I was scared.”

She said she was on the other side of the apartment when the shots rang out.

She ran toward the front of her children’s bedroom to hide and comfort her three daughters, who awoke from the noise.

“Then I see two people over here, one person over there. I was in shock,” she said. “I never seen that before in my life.”

Two young men and a young woman were shot. They have been identified as Brian Tirado, 22, Ana Cruz, 22, and Felix Garcia, 22, all of Dorchester. All three died by those wounds.

The co-host of the party, apparently the boyfriend of Ms. Cruz, described the chaos as follows:

“Bottles were being thrown. I tried pushing people out the way, and that’s when you hear the shots go off, ‘Pop, pop, pop! Pop, pop!’ ” he said. “My friend was bleeding on the floor, holding her belly. The other dude was on the floor. It looked like he was already done because he was white. … His friend was holding him saying ‘Don’t die on me! Don’t die on me!’ The other guy was saying ‘I’m hit! I’m hit!’ “

The slayings on Intervale Street bumped the city’s murder count up by 13 percent. As of last Tuesday, the city had 20 murders, two fewer than last year.

There are now 26 murders so far this year compared to 23 at the same time last year, police said.

The party’s hostess and her boyfriend declined to give their names due to fear of retaliation.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Mirth, Murder And Criminal Investigations

As a long-time Boston criminal lawyer, I can tell you that this tragic story is not as unusual as you might think. Sometimes it is some other kind of party. I have brought to you a story about it happening at a wedding in the past. Sometimes it is at a dance club.

The bottom line is that fights between people happen at such occasions. In the past, fists would be used. Now, guns are often used.

Now, what do we already know about this case, beyond the obvious?

Well, first of all, it would appear that nobody is in custody yet. This means that the criminal investigation is ongoing. Thus, anyone either actually at the party or alleged to have been at the party is a potential target for law enforcement.

“Why would that be, Sam?”

Because this is another high profile case. Three people are dead. The police want answers. Sometimes people are reluctant to give statements to the police. Sometimes this is out of fear, such as the above-quoted individuals who asked not to be identified. Other times it is because of a mistrust of the police.

Let’s face it. Sometimes statements get twisted. Sometimes the wrong people are charged.

So, what would I suggest to those who may find themselves pursued by law enforcement in this case?

It will probably not surprise you to learn that my advise is to retain the services of an experienced criminal attorney.

“Why should I do that if I did not shoot anyone?”

I am not saying that the attorney will necessarily advise you not to say anything (in counsel’s presence) to the police. That should be decided on a case-by-case basis. However, you never know when things are going to turn and you are going to be suspected of being a part of the shooting. After all, we have many times discussed the prosecutorial theory of “conspiracy” and ” joint enterprise”. You could be charged being part of the violence even if you were simply there if someone whom the police decide to believe says so.

Confusing scenes like this make for interesting cases. Not only are they often tailor-made for incorrect charges, but also for defense theories such as self-defense.

Of course, I am not involved in this case; I do not know the details of what the police have or think they have. However, if you turn out to be a person of interest, you would be well advised to show some interest in your own liberty and engaged the services of someone who can advise and, if necessary, represent you.

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