Methuen

Eight injured when gunfire erupts at pop-up party in Methuen

Two of the victims are in critical condition, Essex County District Attorney Paul Tucker said

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Multiple people were shot and wounded when gunfire erupted at a large gathering in an industrial park in Methuen, Massachusetts, early Sunday morning.

Methuen police say they responded to the area of 100 Lindberg Avenue around 1:55 a.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls. Hundreds of people had attended a pop-up party there that was organized through social media.

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Seven people were struck by bullets, and an eighth person was injured trying to flee the scene, Essex County District Attorney Paul Tucker said, calling it another tragic case of gun violence. The victims range in age from 17 to 23 years old.

Two of the victims are in critical condition. Five others are stable at this time, according to Tucker.

“We are actively pursuing all leads in this case,” Tucker said. “We understand the horrible impact that this violence has had on the victims and their families, and we will devote all necessary resources to bring those responsible to justice.”

The violent gathering is referred to as a pop-up party, or a car club meet-up.

"This case has been part of many series of social media Snapchat events where people meet up," Tucker explained.

Methuen Police Chief Scott McNamara said authorities have been monitoring other “hot spots” where such gatherings typically take place, but Sunday’s attack happened in a new location and was the first to turn violent.

“Usually these meet-ups consist of very loud music, disorderly conduct, sometimes drinking,” he said. “We try to take action where we can to discourage it, and we’ve been fairly successful in that regard. Unfortunately we did experience a tragic incident here in Methuen last night.”

Police are hopeful surveillance video from the scene will give them some answers. They haven't found any weapons and wouldn't comment on the number of shots fired, but it's clear there were many more than the seven that injured the victims.

"When you think about the ballistics evidence that we're recovering, it's incredible that not more people were hurt or killed," Tucker said.

The mass shooting happened less than a half mile from a quiet neighborhood where a lot of families with young kids reside. Christine Hayden tells NBC10 Boston that she didn't hear the gunshots but that she was certainly woken up by the commotion.

"I saw 100 cars pulling out of here, okay? You never see that many cars on that road. Never," Hayden says.

She's hopeful the chaos will never happen again in this area and that the victims recover.

"I don't feel like I'm in danger, but yes, it concerns me because it shouldn't be happening," she said.

“These acts of senseless violence do not represent the values of the Methuen community," the police chief added, noting he's deeply saddened by what happened. "I would like to recognize the first responders who responded to the scene in a quick and professional manner. We will continue to work together to move forward and heal as a community.”

Police declined to comment on a suspect but say they have multiple leads. They're asking any partygoers who have video to come forward. Anyone else with information is also urged to contact the Methuen Police Department.

Methuen is located about 28 miles north of Boston on the border with New Hampshire.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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