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Wild in the Streets

For the second time this year, a Boston postgame celebration turns tragic

Within minutes of Boston's win over the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS, celebrating fans poured into the streets outside Fenway Park. They were met by police, who had been criticized for being ill-equipped to handle Patriots fans who rioted after the Super Bowl last February. The city doubled the number of patrolmen on the street and equipped many of the 300 officers with FN303 guns, which fire pepper pellets designed to be nonlethal. One gun was fired into a crowd of revelers--one of whom had just thrown a bottle at a police officer--and the pellet struck the eye of Victoria Snelgrove (below), a 21-year-old Emerson College journalism student, killing her.

Snelgrove's death prompted Boston mayor Thomas Menino to consider invoking a law that would have banned alcohol sales in the city during the World Series. He also considered asking bars not to televise games. Neither measure was adopted, but bars couldn't let crowds congregate and TV crews were told not to film rowdy fans in bars. The police beefed up patrols around Fenway and switched to a less powerful pellet gun. Following Boston wins in Games 1 and 2, the city was far more subdued. "I'd give back Game 7 to have her back," Red Sox rightfielder Trot Nixon said of Snelgrove. "We've got the greatest fans, but we'd like them to be a little more responsible." --Yi-Wyn Yen