Peace Activist Mourns Shooting Death of Brother in Boston

(NECN: Katelyn Flint) - Trying to hold back tears, an emotional Joao DePina stands at his brother's roadside memorial in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood.

Joao, a community activist who spends his free time promoting peace, is mourning the loss of his 29-year-old brother, Michael, to violence.

"That feeling is the most awful feeling in the world." said Joao.

Neighbors say just before 9 p.m. Friday, Michael DePina was riding his motorcycle when he was shot and eventually crashed at the end of Taft Street.

Police say the incident is under investigation.

Friends and family describe Michael as a good neighbor with a good heart who enjoyed working on motorcycles and landscaping.

For this close knit community, the news of the loss is upsetting, but also a reminder of the challenges they face every day.

"We have so many activists out there," said Dotti, a neighbor. "But if the children ain't willing to listen or learn, then it's not doing anything."

"There needs to be more surveillance, more supervision," said neighbor Kelly Bransfield. "It's sad, it's just very sad."

Despite so much attention being placed on getting guns off the street, Joao thinks it's only a small piece to a very complicated puzzle.

"The fact that there's poverty - we're forgetting the fact that these kids are not getting jobs," he said. "No one wants to work for $8 an hour."

Family and neighbors hope Michael's death is a reminder to others just how valuable life is and how unnecessary these senseless acts truly are.

"I just wish something would change, things would be better for the kids so that they could grow up and feel a little bit safer," said Bransfield.

"I'm asking everybody, everybody, everybody in this community to please, please stop," said Joao.

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