LAWRENCE —Police arrived at the Pollo Tipico chicken eatery Sunday night to find a man bleeding from a gunshot wound, beer bottles scattered over the floor and tables and chairs knocked over.
Bullets started flying inside the popular Lawrence Street restaurant after a fight broke out among customers.
A 30-year-old security guard was shot in the shin and another man got hit with a bullet in his buttocks after the 9:28 p.m. incident inside the shop at 190 Lawrence St. Both men are expected to survive, police said.
Detectives yesterday were looking for surveillance videos which they hope will lead them to the shooter, Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said.
Witnesses told police several patrons started fighting. While security guards were trying to separate the combatants “a male with long hair and a beard pulled out a firearm from his crotch” and opened fire, wounding the two men, according to police reports.
Police believe there was only one gunman in the restaurant. “He was on the worse end of the fight and decided to pull out a gun,” Fitzpatrick said.
The security guard hurt was taken to Lawrence General Hospital. The other man wounded, whose age was unknown yesterday, left the restaurant after he was shot, but was later located by police at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, police said.
Police yesterday were not releasing the names of the victims or witnesses due to the ongoing investigation.
When Officer Ariel Montas arrived at the Pollo Tipico, he said he found the security guard sitting in a chair with his left leg elevated on another chair and a makeshift tourniquet wrapped around his thigh. The man had a bullet hole in his shin “with a significant amount of blood.”
“Around him, several employees (were) checking on his well being,” Montas wrote. He noted the floor was wet, “littered with beer bottles” and tables and chairs were knocked over.