By Scott Malone
BOSTON (Reuters) - At least five people were killed in four apparently unrelated shooting incidents around Boston, police said on Thursday, provoking outrage from the city's mayor who said the violence "has to stop."
Three of the deaths occurred in two apparently gang-related shootings in Boston late Wednesday - a man in the city's Mattapan neighborhood and two men in the Roxbury section, about 3 miles away, according to the Boston Police Department. The victims, whose identities were not released, were in their 20s, police said.
Three people were wounded in those shootings.
The Boston victims appeared to have been targeted by their killers, said Boston Police Officer Rachel McGuire, noting, "They don't appear to be random."
As of Sunday, some 151 shootings had been reported in Boston this year, a 25 percent increase from the same period last year. Even with the new shootings, Boston has seen fewer homicides this year, with 20 reported so far in 2015 compared with 35 for the same period in 2013, police said on Thursday.
"I am extremely saddened and disturbed by the violence that took place overnight in our community; this has to stop," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. "It is my utmost priority to ensure the safety of our residents."
Two other fatal shootings occurred in the neighboring cities, local police confirmed. A person was shot and killed in Cambridge late Wednesday and a 21-year-old woman was fatally shot outside an Everett restaurant early on Thursday.
Everett Police Lieutenant Frank Hoening said of that shooting, "apparently the victim was an unintended target."
Hoening said the four incidents apparently were unrelated.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey)