Officials ID victim of New Year’s Eve homicide

Aaron Gant Jr.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — As police continue to investigate a fatal shooting on New Year’s Eve in New Bedford, the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III has identified the victim.

According to the DA’s office, Aaron Gant Jr. was shot at about 7:10 p.m. Thursday on Grinnell Street.

Gant, 24, was transported by private vehicle to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Gant’s uncle said his nephew had his struggles, but was making an effort and had just taken the test for a GED.

Fireworks – once a thing of beauty to celebrate the new year – were making residents jumpy in the wake of the shooting.

“When you hear that, I don’t know if that’s fireworks or a shot nowadays,” said Lee Carlisle, who resides in the neighborhood where the shooting took place.

Carlisle said a lot has changed in the 30 years he’s lived in the area.

“It was a pretty nice neighborhood. Now all of a sudden, the young kids are shooting,” he explained. “Back in the day, we used to fight. And you know, we would fistfight and get it over, go home, no problem. Probably hug the next day. Now these young kids – they’re shooting.”

Police have not yet made an arrest in the case.

Anyone who was in the area of Grinnell Street between Pleasant and Purchase Streets around the time of the shooting and witnessed anything suspicious is asked to contact the New Bedford Police Department at (508) 991-6300 or leave an anonymous tip by calling (508) 961-4584.

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