A 19-year-old Beverly man faces a murder charge in connection with a shooting death on Ropes Street Saturday night, according to a press release from the Essex County District Attorney’s office.
Justice Galarza, 19, of 28 Beckford St., Beverly, will be arraigned Monday in Salem District Court.
Galarza’s grandmother described him as “a decent kid” who had hoped to go into the military.
“He just took a test for the Marine Corps, and he passed. He was waiting,” said Darlene “Dolly” Nunez.
Galarza shares the same address as Nunez, who said her grandson graduated Beverly High in 2014.
“He’s a decent kid,” she kept saying, adding that all the kids in the neighborhood stopped by to see her on Sunday. Nunez said she does not know what went on, but whatever the outcome of the proceedings, her grandson’s life will never be the same.
“Justice is going to have to live with this for the rest of his life,” said Nunez, who said this is a tragedy for both families. “It’s awful for everyone concerned.
“He was a good kid,” Nunez said. “He wasn’t doing stupid stuff. He wasn’t doing drugs. It was a stupid mistake. It was a blink of an eye.”
Police responded about 10:30 p.m. Saturday to a report of a shooting incident at 5-7 Ropes St., where they found a 21-year-old man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. The man was taken to Beverly Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Essex District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan said she was waiting for the family to be notified before identifying the victim.
The shooting took place inside the home, and it appears the victim and the suspect knew each other, according to the release.
Galarza later turned himself in to Salem Police.
Beverly Police and State Police detectives assigned to the Essex District Attorney’s Office are investigating the matter.
Galarza’s father, Santos Galarza Jr., a roofer by profession and a former standout athlete at Beverly High, was 41 when he died at home on March 14, 2012, according to his obituary. The obituary lists that he left behind two daughters and two sons, including Justice Galarza.
In August 2015, Justice Galarza had a minor run in with the law after he wound up in a car that had been stopped as police looked for two brothers, suspects in an unarmed robbery and kidnapping of a friend at the North Beverly plaza. Galarza, who police said was not present at the robbery, was charged with a knife ordinance violation during the motor vehicle stop.
Ropes Street sits in a tightly-packed neighborhood of multi-family homes. It is a short street that runs parallel to the railroad tracks and has a view of the Cummings Center parking garage across the tracks.
Galarza’s address, on the corner of Beckford and Mill streets, sits about a block and half away from the Ropes Street house where the shooting took place.
A young boy who peeked his head out of the top floor of the Ropes Street residence said he did not see anything. A young girl standing on the porch said the shooting happened on the second floor of the three-story residence, a fact confirmed by the Essex DA’s office.
Neighbors said Ropes Street was lined from one end to the other with police cars Saturday night and well into Sunday morning.
This is the second shooting death on the North Shore in less than two weeks. On the afternoon of March 31, 27-year-old Benjamin Magee of Salem was shot in an alleyway at 38 Park St. Salem and State Police assigned to the district attorney’s office are investigating this shooting, but have yet to make an arrest.
“I don’t believe there is any connection with the Salem murder,” Kimball Monahan said.