NATION

Witness in Whitey Bulger trial: Hit was like 'a firing squad'

BOSTON -- A man who survived a wild shooting told jurors at James "Whitey" Bulger's racketeering trial on Friday that it felt like "a firing squad hit us" when a car he was in was struck by more than 100 bullets.

Frank Capizzi said he was riding in the back seat behind Albert Plummer when the car was shot up in March 1973. Capizzi was shot multiple times. Plummer, a member of a rival gang, was killed.

Capizzi testified that he soon left Boston out of fear.

PHOTOS: The hunt for James "Whitey" Bulger

When Bulger's lawyer began to question him, Capizzi invoked his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The 83-year-old Bulger is charged with playing a role in 19 murders during the 1970s and '80s while allegedly leading the mostly Irish American Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty.

On Thursday, a woman who survived a gangland hit that left her boyfriend paralyzed and his friend dead choked back tears as she recalled the details of that night in 1973.

Diane Sussman de Tennen, who was shot in the arm, was the first of a series of witnesses who described being wounded or losing a loved one in shootings allegedly orchestrated by Bulger and his gang.

Sussman de Tennen said she was in a car driven by Michael Milano on March 8, 1973, when a car pulled up to them at a stoplight in Boston's North End neighborhood.

"All of a sudden, there was this noise, a continuous stream of gunfire.… It was just nonstop," she said.

Family members of several victims gave emotional testimony describing how they learned their relatives had been killed.

Earlier this week, former hit man John Martorano gave chilling details about murders he committed after they were allegedly ordered by Bulger and his partner, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi. Martorano also described a 1975 killing he said Bulger and Flemmi did themselves.

Martorano, who served 12 years in prison after he admitted killing 20 people, said Bulger and Flemmi shot Edward Connors in a phone booth because they were afraid he would tie them to the 1973 killing of a Bulger rival.

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