Popular Street Pastor Speaks out from Behind Bars

"I am not a gang member. I’m the Rev". says Reverend Shaun Harrison.

He’s a well-known Boston street Pastor who police say was living a double life. 

"I never lived a double life. I never, never, sold drugs. I never, never sold drugs, I never, sold guns, never turned kids into gang members,"  says Rev. Harrison. "Me? I would not even know  how to do that."

Recently, Harrison sat down with me inside the Nashua Street Jail where he’s awaiting trial on several charges including shooting a high school student execution style. 
 
"For me to be accused of something like that, all of the sudden at 55, I turn gangster, I mean , I just turn 56. It’s like a nightmare and you are trying to wake from this night mare." Rev. Harrison says.

Harrison says before this he’d never been arrested or charged with any crime. He says he’s spent more than 30 years preaching to at risk young people, helping them stay off drugs, stay out of gangs and stay out of trouble. He was so well known in the community, Harrison says he was recruited by then Mayor Tom Menino to help police get guns off the street

2006 City of Boston Clip: "I  congratulate those individuals who had the courage to turn in their weapons, and continue to send a message of peace to the Boston community."

So how did he end up here – behind bars?

Prosecutors say in March of 2015 the 55 year old Pastor was working as a Student Coodinator at English High School. They say he used his position to get teens to help him sell drugs. Police  say they have surveillance video of Harrison shooting a teen on this Roxbury street along with a statement from the victim who – police say – identified Harrison as his shooter.

Cheryl asks:
"Did you Shoot him?|

Harrison answers: 
Absolutely not.

Police also say they found  guns, ammunition and large bags of marijuana in Harrison’s home. Investigators believe under Harrison’s religious garb he hid a gang tattoo – a red 100 inked on his right arm.  We asked Harrsion if that was a gang sign.

Harrison explains: "That’s Yahweh and Yahweh is the Hebrew name for God.  I am that I am. You know, keep it 100 … keep it 100 you know you’re going to finish high school.  That’s what it stands for."

Harrision says he spent the last year preaching the gospel to young men inside the jail walls while he waits for his day in court.

"I guess what really holds me together is my faith in God, my trust in God," he tells Cheryl.

"You know the truth is going to come out but they can’t deny,commit my life to the city for thirty something years,you know because that is what i love to do ,work with young people. They can’t take that away from me."

Harrison heads back to court in April. Stay with 7News for updates on his case. 

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