EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 24, 2013

Man shot while shopping with girlfriend

Police: Victim knew gunman who was arrested

By Mark E. Vogler

---- — LAWRENCE — A man in the driver’s seat of his car took a bullet through his left hand as he raised it toward a gunman yesterday, police said.

Although wounded, Luis Colon, 27, of Lawrence was able to drive himself to Lawrence General Hospital as his girlfriend made a frantic 911 call, which led to the gunman’s arrest, police said.

Colon was treated for what police described as “non-life-threatening injuries.” The shooting happened while Colon and his girlfriend were shopping on Essex Street yesterday afternoon, according to investigators.

Meanwhile, Lawrence detectives were questioning Jordan Vasquez, 21, of Lawrence. He was being held last night at the police station and faces several felony criminal charges, said police Chief John Romero.

The charges include two counts of attempted murder, one count of assault and battery, illegal possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm within city limits, Romero said. Vasquez is expected to be arraigned Monday in Lawrence District Court.

The shooting happened shortly before 4 p.m., as Colon and his girlfriend drove away from their parking spot on Essex Street after shopping at Eb Lens Clothing & Footwear, 490 Essex St., they told police.

Colon’s girlfriend told investigators that Vasquez “had a history with her boyfriend,” according to Romero. He would not elaborate on the relationship between the two men.

“She said they (Colon and Vasquez) saw each other in the store, and there was no incident,” Romero said, “although, she said she did see him (Vasquez) hanging around outside the store later.’’

The couple told police there was no confrontation nor were there any words spoken before the shooting.

“The girlfriend and the victim (Colon) left the store and got into the victim’s car,’’ Romero said. “As they pulled out to Essex Street, the girlfriend claims the suspect brandished a handgun, pointed at the vehicle and fired. At that point, the victim claims he got shot in the hand and they proceeded to the hospital.’’

Officers responding to the scene saw a man matching the description of the gunman walking toward McDonald’s, Romero said.

“They followed him into the parking lot, he takes off and there is a foot pursuit with the police,” Romero said. “Police were able to apprehend him and recover a silver handgun.’’

It’s not clear whether the driver’s side window of Colon’s car was up or down, although police believe it was shattered by gunfire. Several rounds were shot at the car, they said. There was some glass damage, according to police. State police crime scene technicians are assisting and processing evidence.

Colon’s girlfriend made one of two emergency 911 calls. Police said the other one came from an unidentified caller.

In an apparently unrelated incident yesterday, police responded to a report of a second shooting about 5:30 p.m. on Avon Street. They were investigating a report of shots fired from a car at another car near Bruce Street. The incident remained under investigation last night.