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Landlords, Councilor seek change in Quincy Terrace after shooting

A memorial of candles, balloons and flowers are found at the site of the Dec. 26 shooting. (Olivia Falcigno)

LYNN — Changes are in the works on the Quincy Terrace block, where a December mass shooting left one man dead, five people injured, and residents of the neighborhood fearing for their safety.

The main focus of the proposed modifications is the installation of a barrier between Quincy Terrace and Rogers Avenue, which is where the shooter allegedly entered the terrace and fled.

Ward 4 Councilor Richard Colucci, along with Nomeeta and Khurram Zaheer, the landlords of three Quincy Terrace properties, are pushing for the addition of the barrier, but they differ on other street maintenance issues in the neighborhood.

Colucci said he was confident that either a fence or wall would be installed in the near future.

“(The shooter) entered from Rogers Avenue, and he fled that way as well,” said Colucci. “Last summer, I wanted to put the fence up and there was a problem with legality. But this is the tipping point, it seems.”

“I would really appreciate it if they could put a real wall between Rogers Avenue and Quincy Terrace,” said Nomeeta Zaheer, who had been in contact with city officials regarding the barrier before the shooting.

“Not just a fence,” added Khurram Zaheer. “You need to put a concrete wall, and maybe even two walls.”

Colucci is also pushing for the Zaheers to make changes to their buildings to improve the safety of the neighborhood, for them to install dawn-to-dusk flood lights on the property, and to pick up trash more consistently.

“We sent the Health Department down there as well because it was overflowing with trash,” said Colucci. “We ticketed them.”

The landlords were cited for a trash violation last week, according to Colucci and the Zaheers.

According to Assistant City Solicitor James Lamanna, the law department intends to compile a report of past citations filed against the properties, which will be presented at the next city council meeting.

In addition, Colucci said that he was considering proposing a demolition order on the properties at the next meeting unless the landlords were more responsive to his requests. 

The Zaheers argued that the lighting improvements should be a service provided by the city.

Khurram called for the replacement of a streetlight, which he had said shut down at certain hours at night, and the trimming of a tree that blocks some of the lighting.

“Since it’s a public way, I’d assume that they should maintain the lighting,” said Khurram. “It’s the city’s responsibility to light the street effectively.”

He also said that he does provide trash service on the buildings, and that much of the trash was not created by his own tenants.

“At least once a week we’re there picking up trash,” said Khurram.

“We make sure that we have good quality tenants,” said Nomeeta. “Somebody clearly is bringing the trash out to our barrels.”

The landlords said they have also advocated for new signage on the street — and recently a new street sign was installed at the terrace.

The Dec. 26 shooting resulted in the death of Lynn man Gustavo Santana, 31, and left five others injured. 

The group was filming a music video when an unknown assailant or assailants opened fire on them from the Rogers Avenue side of the Terrace, authorities said. 

Police have not yet made any arrests in connection with the shooting.

A memorial has been assembled at the site of Gustavo’s death on Quincy Terrace, with pictures, prayer candles, bottles and flowers.

All parties pushing for changes to the neighborhood hope that this effort can help prevent another shooting like this from happening in the future.

“My ideal result is to ensure the safety of the residents of these buildings,” said Colucci.

Guthrie Scrimgeour can be reached at gscrimgeour@itemlive.com

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