Revelations of a violent past and connections stemming over two years with the Department of Children and Families have come to light days after a 14-year-old Mattapan teenager was accused of fatally shooting his younger brother.
The unidentified youth was ordered held on bail Monday, a few hours before the Mattapan’s family involvement with the DCF was revealed by Governor Deval Patrick.
On Monday, police also identified his 9-year old brother as Janmarcos Peña. The eldest brother allegedly shot Peña on Friday morning, a school day, at their home. The Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley’s office said he was “recklessly” handling a firearm when it struck his brother who died at Boston Medical Center soon after.
The teen is charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of an illegal firearm.
Governor Patrick spoke to reporters outside the State House on Monday. The Boston Globe reports he told reporters that eight days before the murder, a social worker with the DCF had visited the family.
Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz also told reporters of the DCF’s history with the family, with DCF officials trying to take custody of the teen late last year. When they were denied custody, they continued to check up on the family, with the last visit being Jan. 30, he said.
The boy’s violent streak led his mother to frequently call police to aid in controlling her son, the Globe reports.
Officers visited his home three times in the past year, arresting him three times for assault, police reports obtained by the Globe show. In one instance, the Globe says, the boy struck his younger brother in the face, knocking him to the ground.
Family members were not aware the youth had a gun, according to Conley’s office. In their story on Wednesday, The Boston Globe also spoke to two unidentified law enforcement officials who said the boy allegedly obtained the gun for self-protection.
In May, the youth was sent to a 45-day residential program known as STARRS, according to Polanowicz. The program is designed to help stabilize troubled teens. Polanowicz said the teen ran away the same day he arrived.
“The department did all the right things in this, and we just have an incredibly tragic outcome,’’ he said.
The agency worked with the Mattapan family for the past two years, according to the Globe.
On Monday, when the teen was held on a $50,000 bail, the boy’s defense lawyer, Michael Doolin, told Globe reporters that the teen was scared and heartbroken.
The boy denied the charges and his mother and older sister were present in the closed proceedings, the Globe reports.
“He comes from a family who cares very much about him,” he said, according to the Globe.