Carol Price sat in her son’s office at Cristo Rey Boston High School on Ash Wednesday, and looked with pride and sorrow at the handwritten notes spread across his desk. Kendric Price’s plans for the future, in his fine cursive.
Outside the office, students who had once lined up at his door walked the hallways with dark crosses on their foreheads, drawn in ash to remind them that life is fragile. Four days earlier, Carol Price had stood on a Dorchester street bathed in blue police lights and felt something precious leave her, even before anyone told her that it was her son who had been shot.
But now, sitting in his chair, she could feel him, so close to her again, his dreams on paper at her fingertips.
Kendric Price, 32, was killed just before 3 a.m. last Saturday in Dorchester, down the street from the house where he grew up, and where his mother still lives. The apartment where he was shot to death, 12A Greenwood St., was known as an unlicensed club or party spot, and police had been called for loud music or party complaints five times in 2017. The landlord said he had spoken to the tenant about the parties last year, and they had quieted down in recent months.
Price had apparently stopped by the night of the shooting. His mother said it had a reputation as a cool place to go and relax.
Boston police have not yet made any arrests, and are asking witnesses to come forward.
Price was a financial analyst, basketball coach, and youth mentor, a 6-foot-9-inch sweetheart with an easy smile who ran the Big Business Network, a program teaching underprivileged kids the fundamentals of business and basketball.
He had just started his job at Cristo Rey as an account manager in the school’s corporate work study program, which gives students work experience. He had been at the school for less than two weeks. His mother said he had bought four new suits so that he would always be well-dressed at work. She will bury him in one of them.
In the days since her son died, Carol Price has been in constant motion. Phone calls, paperwork, detectives, reporters, funeral planning, the impossibility of finding a venue big enough to hold all the people who loved him. She forgets to eat and drink. She hasn’t dreamed of her son, because she has barely slept.
She replays their last dinner together in her mind. It was Friday night. Her son’s future seemed so clear, so enormous, a sun rising high into the sky. She cooked him sauteed chicken with onions, green peppers, rice, broccoli, and cheese. He was so happy and so busy.
“I didn’t realize I was this tired,” he told her. “But it’s a good tired.”
Hours later, she awoke to a phone call. Something had happened down the street — had she seen Kendric?
When she arrived, outside in the cold, she told a detective what her boy had been wearing. The detective told her, “I’m not gonna tell you for a fact that that’s your son,” Price said, but she held his business card in her hand and she knew. Two people came out of the house, and police put them in a cruiser. She could see their faces through the glass, looking at her sadly.
She walked alone back to her car, and drove back to her house. She folded clothes and swept the floor and thought: Maybe what I’m feeling isn’t real. Maybe they are going to call and say it’s all a mistake, it’s not Kendric after all, Kendric is alive and you are whole.
But they called, and it was him.
Carol Price hasn’t gone to see his body yet. She’s not sure she wants to look. When he was a little boy, she wanted him to know that the world was a big place and he could go anywhere in it. She took him to museums and to George’s Island for his birthday, and she sent him to the University of Michigan on a scholarship. He finished in three years and came home to Dorchester to show the kids whose lives were contained in city blocks that there was more.
That’s the Kendric she wants to remember: the handsome young man who grinned in magazine and newspaper articles about his basketball and his charity work. The goofball who could make her laugh just by spreading his long arms wide. The son who told her, “Look at God. It’s all coming together.”
She has a picture that she loves of him as a toddler. He is walking ahead of her into a bright room. She is behind him, holding his hand and opening the door. Kendric bursts through it, eyes wide, mouth open in an enormous smile. Here he was, her joyful child.
Anyone with information about the killing of Kendric Price is asked to call Boston police homicide detectives at 617-343-4470. Anyone wishing to leave an anonymous tip can call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-494-TIPS or text the word TIP’to 27463.Evan Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.