EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 5, 2013

Man shot twice outside Lawrence housing project

By Jill Harmacinski

---- — LAWRENCE - A 22-year-old man was airlifted to a Boston hospital after he was shot twice Sunday night while waiting for a friend off Essex Street.

Luis Aponte was shot in the right thigh and leg and the right side of his abdomen around 6:30 p.m. Aponte drove himself to Lawrence General Hospital and police were called to the emergency room.

The shooting is believed to be gang-related, Police Chief John Romero said yesterday.

Aponte told police he was parked near the basketball courts near 651 Essex St. near the Merrimack Courts housing projects and was waiting for a friend.

While he was waiting, he received random cell phone calls and then two men came up to the passenger side of his Honda Civic, according to a police report.

“One of the males was on a cell phone, pointed a gun inside the passenger window that was slightly open (and then said) ‘Give me all that you got or I will shoot you,’” Aponte told officer Christopher Cote.

Aponte said he panicked and started to drive away. When he did, the man shot him twice.

The shooter was described as a skinny male with a black hooded sweatshirt and ski mash. Aponte said he was not able to see his face. The gun was small and black in color.

An ER nurse also gave police a bullet that fell onto the floor when Aponte’s clothes were being removed. Cote said the bullet resembled a 9 mm round. The bullet was placed in a latex glove and seized by Cote as evidence.

Aponte’s clothes - a blue jacket, blood covered blue jeans, white shirt with blood splatter, red sweatshirt and brown boots, were also taken by police. His 2002 Honda Civic coupe was towed to a local garage so it could be examined for potential evidence, Cote said.

While initially treated at Lawrence General, Aponte was later airlifted to a Boston hospital for further treatment.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.