The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston (photo by Bill Damon via Flickr)

Around 11am on the morning of Saturday, July 23, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston went into lockdown for approximately one hour. A man had reported being shot in the leg near 491 Huntington Avenue, a two-minute walk away from the art museum — Boston’s largest, housing more than 450,000 works.

Several shots were fired. The multiple gunshot wounds sustained by the victim were not life-threatening. A 27-year-old man named Marcello Holiday was arrested in front of Boston Police Headquarters after officers were provided with a description of the suspect, according to the Boston Globe.

“The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, swiftly enacted safety protocols on Saturday, July 23, in response to a police investigation of an active shooting within close proximity to the Museum,” the museum said in a statement shared with Hyperallergic. Visitors and museum employees were asked to remain in a safe location. The museum reopened at 12:30pm, when Boston Police confirmed the safety of doing so.

Holiday faces charges of assault to murder while armed and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, among others. Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long indicated in a statement that this arrest was one among several recently that have involved the seizure of illegal firearms.

Boston has one of the lowest rates of firearm deaths relative to other cities of comparable population size, largely due to state restrictions on assault weapons and other measures — but the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down New York’s firearm law may put Massachusetts’s gun licensing laws at risk.

“I’m grateful for the officers responding quickly today at the MFA, from the immediate coordination with community partners to swift action identifying those involved and keeping our residents and visitors safe,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement.

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Jasmine Liu

Jasmine Liu is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she studied anthropology and mathematics at Stanford University. Find her on 

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