EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 12, 2012

Public asked to help solve shooting

Police seek details in assault at city apartment complex

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — Police are seeking the public’s help as they investigate a shooting that happened at Pine Brook Place, an apartment complex just outside of Lafayette Square.

A window was shattered when someone fired bullets at the apartment building, police said.

When officers arrived the night of Nov. 29, they were told that someone had fired bullets into one of the apartments. Police said one bullet struck and shattered a window, and a teenager who was inside reported he was hit in the forehead with debris.

A woman and her children who were inside the apartment at the time told police that after the gun shots, they fled to another apartment across the hall, where they made several phone calls before notifying police.

“It appears that approximately 20 minutes passed before the police were notified of the incident,” Patrolman Jeffrey Surette wrote in his report.

Police Detective Capt. Alan Ratte said he is unaware of any other incidents of shots being fired in the area of the apartments since that time. He said the incident is under investigation by Sgt. Steven Doherty and Detective Meaghan Buckley. Anyone with information is asked to call them at the police station, 978-373-1212.

Ratte would not comment on any possible motive or reasons why shots were fired at the building.

“We want to solve this before somebody gets seriously injured,” he said.

The Eagle-Tribune contacted the apartment complex and a member of the management team who answered the phone said he had no comment.

According to police, on Nov. 29 at 10:07 p.m., officers responded to 33 Woodcock Ave. for the report of shots fired. As police approached the apartment building, a man was walking out, the report said. The man, who police said was 19, at first refused to stop and tried to walk away, but when officers caught up to him, he told them he’d just arrived after getting a phone call from his mother, who said someone had fired bullets into their apartment, according to the report.

Police said they spoke to his mother, who is 50, and she told them she reported the gun shots. Police said the woman’s 17-year-old son told them a bullet was fired into a bedroom he was in and that something hit him in the forehead. Police said the teen had a small red mark on his forehead and that he refused medical treatment.

The woman’s 28-year-old daughter, who was visiting at the time, told police she was in the bedroom with her brothers, ages 17, 18 and 19, and a 19-year-old male who was visiting, when a bullet entered through the window. That was followed by the sound of several more gun shots, she told police. She and the others fled the apartment after the shots were fired. She said her son, 10, and daughter, 12, also fled the apartment. Police said the group went across the hall to another apartment, where they made several phone calls before calling police.

Police said they intended to file a report with DCF, the Department of Children and Families, regarding the children who were in the apartment at the time.