EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 24, 2012

Two dead in Haverhill shooting

Gretchen Putnam, Brian Messenger, Douglas Moser and Paul Tennant, Staff writers
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — HAVERHILL — Two people are dead after a shooting tonight on River Street, and police will not say whether any suspects are still at large.

The shooting was reported around 10:45 p.m. at 631 River St.

Two victims are dead and two others have been wounded, Haverhill Deputy Police Chief Donald Thompson said during a 1:30 a.m. interview. About an hour earlier, State Police spokesman David Procopio said he could not confirm a death, but told The Eagle-Tribune five people had been shot. State Police are investigating with Haverhill police.

Thompson said areas inside and outside of 631 River St. are considered part of the crime scene, though he would not say whether the shootings took place in or out of the residence.

Witnesses described several people covered in blood. At least one victim was shot in the chest and another was shot in the arm, neighbors said.

A neighbor who lives a few doors down from the shooting said he looked out the window and saw three men covered in blood. One victim was on the ground in the driveway and appeared to be dead.

Shortly after the shooting, police said two suspects who may have been wearing ski masks or bandannas were at large.

Haverhill Police said at midnight the investigation was still fluid. At least 15 Haverhill and State Police cruisers were in the area, along with members of the State Police crime lab.

The State Police Airwing is assisting in the search. Police also are using K9s in the search.

River and Niagara streets are currently closed to traffic. Thompson said at about 1:30 a.m. that he expected them to remain closed for several hours, but hoped to have them open for the morning commute.

A Niagara Street woman, who declined to give her name, said she was watching television with her husband when the shooting occurred. "I heard what I thought was a firecracker," she said. Her neighbor saw two men running up the street afterward, she said.

Around 1 a.m., a barefoot young woman in a tie-dye shirt ran up River Street toward the scene screaming, "This is trickery,” and “I know everything!” State Police tried to stop her about 100 yards from the scene. She bolted under the tape, but police stopped her and were talking to her.

Check back with Eagle-Tribune for more information.

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