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February 7, 2013

Salem police investigate drive-by shooting

SALEM — Police have few answers about a drive-by shooting on Lake Street late Tuesday night.

But police recovered three bullets shot from a pistol lodged in the siding of the house at 17 Lake St., Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said.

“It’s hard to say what it is because we don’t know why it happened,” Patten said yesterday. “As of now, there’s no readily apparent reason why this house was targeted or if it was random.”

But police are taking it seriously, he added.

A neighbor out walking his dog at about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday saw a two-toned Honda sedan with a “distinctive white rear end” stop in front on 17 Lake St. He then heard several shots ring out, Patten said, before the Honda took off.

Responding officers discovered three bullets in the home’s siding, but none of them penetrated the home’s interior.

Salem issued an alert for a vehicle matching the witness’s description and thought the car had been located later that night.

Massachusetts State Police found an abandoned car on Interstate 495 that matched the description, Patten said. The car was seized, but later turned out not to have been the one used by the suspects involved in the shooting.

Thus far, the evidence includes the witness’s description of the car, which appeared to hold “several” people and the three bullets. The man wasn’t able to get a description of the license plate.

Detectives were interviewing the witness again yesterday, as well as the family members and anyone else who may have been in the home at the time of the shooting, Patten said.

“This is certainly concerning and not a regular occurrence in Salem,” Patten said. “There were people in a vehicle with a real firearm, shooting real bullets shooting at a house. This is not a bunch of kids driving around with a BB gun shooting mailboxes.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Salem police at 893-1911 or Southern NH Crimeline at 893-6600.

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