LAWRENCE (CBS) – Lawrence police are reminding residents that they are not allowed on public property, including parks, after sundown in the wake of a violent Monday night. Four people were shot, one fatally, according to officials.
“We encourage all members of the community to call police if they see any activity after dark in any city park,” said Chief James Fitzpatrick in a press release.
The Essex District Attorney’s Office said there was a shooting at Howard Playstead Park near the Methuen line and three men were dropped off by unknown parties at the Holy Family Hospital with gunshot wounds late Monday evening.
Two of the three men, both from Lowell were moved to a hospital in Boston due to the severity of their injuries. The third man, of Lawrence, was shot in the foot.
On Tuesday, police investigated the park with a K-9 unit.
Kathy Newcomb lives next to Howard Park.
“Shooting is common around here,” she said. “We don’t know if a bullet will come through our house or not. That’s the only thing we worry about.
Another nearby resident, Charlie Waites said, “I wouldn’t go in that park at night, not even with my dog.”
Police also said they do not believe that shooting was connected to another that occurred hours later.
Police also responded to a car that crashed into several utility poles on South Union Street around 10:30 p.m. Monday.
The driver was rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest and was pronounced dead.
A witness told WBZ NewsRadi0 1030 that he was driving on South Union Street when he saw a car swerve across the road and smash into the pole.
At the time, the witness said he did not know about the gunshot wound but when he saw the crash he called 911.
Fitzpatrick said, “These incidents do not appear to be random acts of violence, the individuals involved were specifically targeted. Individuals from Lowell traveled to a dark park in Lawrence with the sole purpose of engaging in illegal activity.We are working to determine the motive for these acts of violence.”
Police said there has not been an increase in violence in city parks, but said Tuesday that it would be a good time to remind people of the public ordinance.
“Individuals will not be allowed to congregate around city-owned buildings such as schools, any public park after sundown unless they are participating in a previously scheduled sanction event by the city,” explained Police Captain Roy Vasque.
So far this year, police have made 572 arrests for opioid-related violence and confiscated 47 illegal guns.
No other information is available at this point in the investigation.
WBZ NewsRadi0 1030’s Carl Stevens reports