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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Gang ties eyed in Haverhill shooting

19:45 |

27-year-old Haverhill man told police he was standing at the corner of Moulton Way and Wingate Street early yesterday morning when he heard the sound of gun shots, then realized that he'd been shot in the groin. Police officers who had just parked their cruiser on Washington Street and were on foot patrol as the bars were letting out at the time also heard the sound of gunfire. Police Deputy Donald Thompson said the officers ran towards the Railroad Square area where they saw a number of people running away screaming and shouting that someone was shooting a gun. "One witness pointed to a tan Honda and yelled that it was involved in the shooting," Thompson said. Thompson said the officers raced back to their cruiser and chased the Honda up Washington Street and onto Jackson Street, where the Honda pulled over. The officers ordered the vehicle's three occupants — a man and two women — out of the car and subsequently found a loaded semi-automatic handgun on the back seat, Thompson said. Police arrested Benjamin Nunez, 28, of 8 Marion St. and charged him with carrying a firearm without a license and possession of ammunition without a license. One of his passengers, Priscilla Perez-Nunez, 40, also of 8 Marion St., was arrested on a warrant out of North Hampton, Mass., charging operation of an unregistered vehicle. A third passenger, a woman, was not charged with any crimes, police said. Police dispatch received a report at 1:39 a.m. of shots fired in the Railroad Square area. Minutes later police dispatch received another report that a man who had been shot was taken to Merrimack Valley Hospital, police said. The victim told police that after he was shot he walked down Wingate Street and met a friend, who drove him to Merrimack Valley Hospital. Police said the victim, who suffered two gunshot wounds to his groin, was subsequently airlifted to a Boston hospital for what are believed to be serious, but not life-threatening injuries. Police are not releasing the name of the victim at this time but said he lives in the Mount Washington neighborhood. Information on the gun that police confiscated is not being released at this time, pending an ongoing investigation into the shooting — which police police said may be gang-related. "It appears that the gun recovered does not appear to be the gun used in the shooting of the victim," Thompson said. Marion Street is in the Mount Washington area of the city, and is up the hill from the Railroad Square area — where police said the shooting took place. Police said Benjamin Nunez is being held without bail at the Middleton jail and is expected to be arraigned on the charges tomorrow in Haverhill District Court. Police said Priscilla Perez-Nunez was released after posting bail. As of noon yesterday, police had not filed any additional charges against Benjamin Nunez. "He's not cleared of anything nor has he been charged with anything," Thompson said early yesterday afternoon. Thompson said the officers who responded to shot being fired were on routine patrol of the downtown at the time the bars were letting out to ensure there was no fighting or rowdiness taking place.

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