A Boston pastor is accused of shooting a boy he mentored in the back of head. The Reverend Shaun Harrison, 55, is accused of living a double-life as a anti-gun and gang activist, while also running a drug dealing ring on the site. He’s now facing charges of intent to murder following a shooting on the night of March 3. Rev. Harrison is a prominent activist in South Boston in the black community. Previously, he had publicly complained about the lack of religion in public school.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Allegedly Shot His Victim in the Back of the Head, But the Kid Survived
Authorities say that Rev. Harrison shot a 17-year-old in the back of the head. According to cops, Harrison and the teen left the reverend’s home in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston on the night of March 3. A few minutes after leaving, Harrison allegedly shot the kid in the back of the head. CBS Boston reports that the victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The shooting was captured on a surveillance video, say cops. The reverend was arrested on March 4, the day after the attack.
2. Harrison Had Been Mentoring the Victim at School
Police think that Rev. Harrison had been living a double-life. By day, he was an upstanding member of the school community at English High School. But by night, he was running a weed business. It’s believed by cops that the victim in the shooting had worked for Harrison until a the two had a dispute. The Boston Globe reports that he had been mentoring the boy in English at English High School.
3. He Worked in Family Outreach at English High School
According to the LinkedIn page for a Rev. Shaun Harrison in Boston, he’s the dean of students at English High School, where he was also once a student. A spokeswoman for the Boston Public School system told the media that Harrison had worked at the school in a family outreach capacity. Harrison has since been fired from the school. On his LinkedIn, it says that prior to working at English he was the Community Field Coordinator at Odessey High School. On his Facebook page, Harrison says he’s worked at Excel High School, Boston Green Academy and Bird Street Community Center in Boston. He adds that he studied Human Service at Springfield College and that he lives in Dorchester. In the About section of his page “He have a dream I am the dream.”
4. He Complained on TV About the ‘Gay Alliance’ in the Boston School System
The Boston Globe reports that Rev. Harrison, who went by “Rev” to students and friends, was also a community activist. You can watch him appearing on panel for the John Birch Society in December 2013 above. During the clip, Harrison admonishes the lack of prayer in school, he explains, “Even in my school, we can’t have a bible, so that we can’t have prayer, but yet, we got the gay alliance, they got gay stuff going on, they have a poster, coming out of the closet. … They put posters up, they have a group, they talk about this, they talk about that, and it’s like, but we can’t talk about bible, we can’t bring in our bibles in, we can’t have bible study.”
In addition, he organized gun buyback programs. He’s been removed from the Facebook for one of his efforts, Operation Homefront. Through a cached version of the site, a status update from February 2014 on the page reads:
Rev. Shaun Harrison is a Boston native and the founder of Operation Gang Out. He currently works with youth at Boston Green Academy and is a pastor at Hampton Outreach Ministry. Rev. Harrison is well known for his part in youth violence prevention in the city and is the overseeing director of Operation Homefront Boston. He has been a part of the program since the beginning.
5. The Reverend’s Son Shot His Wife in the Head in 2013
Back in 2013, the Boston Herald reported Rev. Harrison’s son, Jeremy, was accused of shooting his wife in the head. At the time, his father said the his boy had been cleaning the gun when it went off by accident. The gun was illegal. Rev. Harrison is the father of eight children and is unmarried.