Incident Summary:

7/11/1970: Unknown White perpetrators fired shotgun blasts indiscriminately into a crowd of African American youths in New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States. Lester Lima was killed and Kim Holland, Randall Robinson, and Gordon Ribiro were wounded. This attack sparked widespread rioting by the African American community of New Bedford.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


New Bedford

Location Details:
Around Kempton Street

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity African Americans
Specific Description African Americans in New Bedford Massachusetts
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Rifle/Shotgun (non-automatic)
Weapon Details
Shotgun blasts were fired in rapid succession.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information This attack greatly increased the racial strife of the already violent conflict between the White and Black communities of New Bedford. The mayor of New Bedford instituted a curfew in response to the riots that spread of control as a result to this attack. Three Whites, Ralph Brown, Gary DesLauriers, and George Rose, were arrested and charged for the crime but were eventually acquitted.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
White extremists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 3 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 1
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 3
Number of U.S. Injured 3
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"New Bedford Negro Killed; 3 Are Held," New York Times, July 12, 1970."
"3 Youths Acquitted in Death of Negro in New Bedford," New York Times, May 19, 1971."
"Bill Kovach, "New Bedford Gets Curfew To Ease Racial Tensions," New York Times, July 13, 1970."