Two people have been arrested on weapons charges after gunfire erupted at a house party in Lawrence, Massachusetts, early Sunday morning, leaving five people wounded and an 18-year-old dead.
On Monday afternoon the Essex District Attorney's Office announced the arrests of Lawrence residents Saul Enrique Morales Espinosa, 22, and Joshual Ramirez, 20, on felony counts of carrying a firearm without a license, and carrying a loaded firearm. They were each held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for May 9.
Both men are hospitalized with gunshot wounds, Espinosa having been flown to Boston by medical helicopter from the party Sunday. They were arraigned remotely on Monday, each pleading not guilty to the charges.
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House Party Turns Violent in Lawrence
Police in Lawrence were called to an apartment on Royal Street at around 3 a.m. on Sunday, and when they arrived, they found the six victims. They were all rushed to Lawrence General Hospital, where an 18-year-old was pronounced dead.
The Essex County District Attorney's Office identified the teen who was killed as Desiderio Arias, of Lawrence. Two other victims were later taken by medical helicopter to Boston hospitals.
Questions still remain, though, including what led up to the shooting, and the conditions of the other victims as of Monday morning.
Loved Ones Mourn 18-Year-Old Killed
Arias' friends said he was dancing and enjoying himself before the deadly gunfire.
"Desi was one of my best friends. On Thursday we were all at the car wash, all of us we were all there, laughing smiling living life," one friend, who asked not to be identified, told NBC10 Boston.
Arias was described as a hard worker by many, including the city's mayor, who once hired him to wash cars. Friends say the whole situation has left them shaken.
"I hope whoever did this they get caught...also we also gotta stop the violence in Lawrence because with all these gang-related stuff going on people don’t even want to go out anymore to parties," the friend said.
Lawrence Neighbors Say Shooting Is Scary and Sad
Neighbors say they heard about 10 gunshots overnight. It’s not the first time they’ve heard parties at that house, and after this, they’re hoping police get more involved.
"There’s no difference in Lawrence, Methuen and Andover, and there’s more people doing drugs over here than over there so there has to be more police activity," one neighbor, Dario Perez, said.
"That's been happening quite a while... a long time," he added.
“We’re really scared because I have kids," Luis Almanzar, another neighbor, said. "I have a 2-year-old nephew up there and we don’t know what’s going on.”
"This kind of partying going on at houses -- it has to stop. It has to stop."