Off the streets at last, on a fast break for hope

02/21/2010 15:00

As dusk fell one evening last May, Alex DoSouto was walking alone down a grim Dorchester street, headed toward home, which meant headed toward trouble.

Then he heard a sound he knew only too well.

From a passing car, two assailants with semiautomatic weapons opened fire. One round ripped into DoSouto’s leg, marking him as the fourth brother in his family wounded by gunshots - one died of a bullet to the heart - in the ongoing street war among Boston’s most violent Cape Verdean factions.

At 18, DoSouto was a jail veteran and high school dropout running with the so-called Cape Verdean Outlaws. When the bullet struck just above his court-ordered ankle monitor, he slumped to the pavement, steps from where his brother was fatally wounded three years earlier.

“It changed my life,’’ DoSouto said. “I could have been killed. I said, ‘I can’t keep living like this.’ ’’

In crisis, he turned back to the Boston Public Schools. Back to something he loved, interscholastic basketball. Back to the dream he’d abandoned, of college.  Read more here