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Csean Skerritt arrested in murder of Norwood 13-year-old Tyler Lawrence in Mattapan

Csean Skerritt arrested in murder of Norwood 13-year-old Tyler Lawrence in Mattapan
Csean Skerritt arrested in murder of Norwood 13-year-old Tyler Lawrence in Mattapan 02:41

BOSTON - Police have made an arrest in the shooting death of 13-year-old Tyler Lawrence last weekend in Mattapan.

Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said Monday that an arrest warrant has been obtained for 34-year-old Csean Skerritt, who is already in police custody. Skerritt was arrested Sunday and charged with a drug distribution offense involving fentanyl. He's expected to be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge in the coming days.

Tyler was gunned down in Mattapan last Sunday, January 29, in broad daylight while walking in his grandmother's neighborhood. 

"There is still a lot that we do not know about this terrible crime," Hayden said as he asked anyone in the public with information to come forward. "But we do know that a 13-year-old was gunned down on a city street on an early Sunday afternoon. And we know that a monstrous event has shaken our city to its core."

Hayden indicated this wasn't a random act, saying "we believe that the shooter in this case intended to do what he did."

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the community has been "robbed" of seeing Tyler grow up. She said there's "work to do" to make sure people are safe on the streets of Boston.

Tyler Lawrence Norwood
Tyler Lawrence Remy Lawrence

"Today is about a measure of accountability and a measure of justice that we hope will begin to continue solidifying the healing process," Wu said.

The district attorney's office said Skerritt was convicted of firearm offenses in 2011 and 2014. 

Skerritt was charged with murder in 2015 for an alleged incident that happened the year prior. The Suffolk district attorney's office also confirmed that a jury found Skerritt not guilty in that case during a trial in 2017.

Csean Skerritt. Boston Police

Tyler's mother Remy Lawrence has pleaded for justice in her son's case. Hundreds gathered in Norwood to pay their respects to Tyler on Sunday. 

Following Skerritt's arrest, Remy Lawrence released a statement saying the family is "relieved and grateful that Boston Police and the District Attorney's Office have taken the first steps toward justice for our beloved Tyler, who was taken from us last Sunday morning as he walked near his grandparent's house." 

"We would like to thank all of the investigators, the detectives, and the elected officials for their continued support for our family, for their integrity and their persistence. We would also like to thank the Town of Norwood, the Norwood Public Schools, Keisha Desir and all of the family, friends and supporters who came together yesterday to honor and remember our Tyler," Remy Lawrence added. "Those who have stood with us have displayed an immense outpouring of love and support and we are so grateful for it at this difficult time. We will have no other comments at this time to ensure we protect the integrity of the ongoing police investigation and we encourage anyone with any further information to come forward to the police investigators." 

Friend and Neighbor Addie Varon was shocked when he learned of Tyler's death.

"They knew him, they knew he was a good boy and that he didn't deserve to die the way he did," Varon said.  "I want to see why he had no heart to do that. He was only 13."

Tony Richards, who knew the middle schooler from the No Books No Ball program he runs, is calling for the community to step up against violence.

"We as a community, we have to be more accountable and do more work in our community to prevent these types of tragedies from happening," Richards said. "Those are the jewels of our community that are being taken away just recklessly and unnecessarily."

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