An active crime scene remains on Gray Avenue in Medford after a Wednesday night home invasion turned violent, leaving one man dead and another man wounded, Suffolk County police said.
The deadly incident happened around 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 7 at 26 Gray Ave. in Medford. Police were called to the home after a 911 caller reported two men had entered the house with guns.
Homicide detectives believe the armed assailants began to struggle with the residents of the home before firing several gunshots. At least one of those gunshots killed 25-year-old Jeremy Phillips. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said a second man, Jermel Bonaparte, 28, who lived in the home, was shot in the face. He was rushed to a local hospital and is expected to survive.
Throughout the night and into Thursday morning, Phillip’s friends and family members have turned to social media to share condolences and memories of the young father, who was affectionately known by many as “Jerm.”
“They always say the good ones go and that’s true in this neighborhood,” said Adrienne Jones, a close friend of Phillips. “Despite all the things he’s been through, he always had a smile on his face,” she said. “I feel like he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Family members told reporters early Thursday that Phillips had been shot a few months ago and had made a full recovery. Details surrounding that incident were unknown.
Jones said Phillips aimed to make sure he stayed positive and give a bright outlook to his young son, Jeremy Jr. In dozens of online photos, the father and son are shown smiling in their Gordon Heights neighborhood. Jones said Phillips wanted to “give his son the world.”
“Gordon Heights will never be the same without him,” she said. “He didn’t deserve that.”
Police did not say if they believe the home was targeted and it was not clear if anything was taken from the home during the fatal home invasion.
Investigators said they believe the two gunmen began shooting as they barged through the front door of the home. Bonaparte was shot first and was struck in the jaw, police said, before the armed men turned to Phillips and shot him dead.
It is still unclear Thursday whether the two men were shot by the same person or if both assailants were armed and firing guns.
Police say the suspects fled on foot immediately after the shooting.
Detectives are asking anyone with information on the shooting to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or call Suffolk Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.