He was a revered high school dean, respected even by the entire community for being an anti-violence advocate, and loved by students who run to him for everything. His pious demeanor even earned him the saintly nickname “The Rev” from his students. It turned that the Boston educator was living a double life, after all, as the real him was unraveled to be a drug dealer who had murderous tendencies as he almost killed a 17-year-old student he recruited to deal drugs for him.
Shaun Harrison kept a façade as the pious high school dean who was well-regarded even by the authorities as a solid ally of law enforcement in dealing and helping troubled youth turn their lives around. Truth was, Harrison bragged to his students about his ties to gangs, drugs, and guns.
Harrison’s fury was triggered, and his real vicious character exposed when he got into a dispute with the 17-year-old recruit over slumping drug sales. “The Rev” shot the teenager in the back of the head with a pistol as they walked on a snowy city street in 2015 and prosecutors said the revered man even left the poor boy for dead.
Fortunately for the teenager, he had the will to survive and live. The teenager later identified as Luis Rodriguez dragged himself up and flagged down a passing car for help. When he was brought to the hospital, the boy squealed who tried to kill him.
Rodriguez’s confession led to the 58-year-old Harrison being sentenced on Friday to as many as 26 years in prison for assault and other charges, ending what turned out to be a false narrative of a “wannabe saint.” Instead, prosecutors said he was unmasked to be a dangerous, predatory fraud.
Judge Christopher Muse said in his decision: “You professed to be a man of religion, you promote yourself as one who can mentor troubled youth… and yet you violated their safety by bringing drugs and violence to them.”
The now 20-year-old Rodriguez cried quietly at the back of the courtroom while the decision was being handed down. The trauma of how Harrison tried to kill him is still there for him to bear- the bullet entered near his right ear and barely missed his carotid artery, breaking his jawbone and causing nerve damage and hearing loss. He also felt betrayed since he once considered Harrison as his “counselor” whom he went to for everything.”