Sentenced: Principal Who Shot Student Recruited To Sell Drugs

There’s more prison time awaiting a former high school dean in Boston who also fancied himself to be a preacher. Shaun Harrison was already convicted for shooting a student he’d recruited to be part of his drug business.

Nicknamed “Rev,” the 63-year-old Harrison is now sentenced to serve an additional 18 years on a federal gang-related charge. That’s on top of the 26-year sentence he is already serving in state prison for the shooting.

The former educator lived two distinct lives but merged them together to mix mentoring at-risk teens and gangland drug dealing.

Harrison began serving Boston Public Schools in 2015 when he was hired as academic dean at English High School. His position was to work with endangered youths and be a mediator between teachers, students, and families.

He quickly turned his back on that positive role.

Instead, officials said he recruited these same students to deal drugs that he provided for them and then collected the money they took in. Prosecutors said it was all a part of his association with the Latin Kings, a sprawling gang with thousands of members.

He was convicted in 2018 for attempting to kill a student who was dealing marijuana at the high school where he served as a mentor. Harrison shot the student in the back of the head after a disagreement over declining sales and suspected theft.

The shooting was captured on video, and the victim was left with partial facial paralysis along with permanent hearing loss. A federal judge in 2022 ordered Harrison to pay $10 million to the former student, though it is unlikely the victim will see the funds.

Prosecutors alleged that Harrison was supported by the Latin Kings while incarcerated. Gang members put funds in his prison account and refused to testify to implicate others in the criminal enterprise.

Last year he pled guilty to an additional count of racketeering conspiracy, which led to the additional sentence. The prosecutor’s office was not kind in its portrayal of the former educator.

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins issued a statement noting that “as the academic dean at a Boston public high school, he lured and manipulated teenagers into a criminal enterprise that specialized in street terrorism.”

She further described Harrison as “the architect of ruin for an entire generation of promising young lives.”