Reverend Shaun O. Harrison Sr., an educator and administrator at English High School in Boston, has been charged with intent to murder, aggravated assault and battery, and unlawful possession of a firearm after an assassination attempt gone wrong. Harrison is a deeply respected member of his community, one whose “prominent antigang [activities]” and role as an ordained minister earned him the title “Dean.”
But the Boston Globe reports that Harrison also hid gang tattoos under his clerical collar, and that he was running a drug ring out of the high school where he worked. That fell apart this week, when a 17-year-old student at English said Harrison attempted to kill him because he (the student) wanted to stop dealing drugs, and suggested he might go to the authorities if Harrison didn’t let him off the hook.
Harrison has been a community outreach organizer and antigang worker at a series of Boston-area high schools for the past several years; he began work at English on January 5th. But it wasn’t immediately clear how effective he had been in his years of effort–or how invested. A Massachusetts probation official who wished to remain anonymous said that
[Harrison] wasn’t a heavy hitter in our eyes in terms of working for the rehabilitation of young people. We wouldn’t summarily dismiss him, but he wasn’t someone you would give a lot of credence to in terms of what he was saying.
According to prosecutors, Harrison had a mural of the Latino Kings gang on the wall at his home. And, shortly after the attempted murder, police detained three men at Harrison’s home, two of whom were member of that very same gang. The belief is that the three men were removing weapons and drug paraphernalia.
Harrison’s bond has been set at $250,000.
(Photo credits: Boston PD; Shaun O. Harrison on Facebook)