EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 29, 2013

Police have suspect in Sahara Club shooting

'That person is in custody right now. He's not on the street'

METHUEN — There were at least two guns fired during the fatal Oct. 23 shooting outside the Sahara Club, and police are confident they have identified a suspect, officials said.

David Rivera, 28, of Lawrence, was shot to death on Greendale Street at about 1 a.m. Oct. 23 as a private party at the Sahara Club let out. Police believe the suspect and Rivera were both in the club before the shooting.

“Two different rounds were discovered on scene, so there are at least two different guns,” Methuen Police Captain Kris McCarthy said at a Nov. 13 Licensing Committee meeting. “We can’t determine whether guns were in the club or not.”

Police have identified at least one person they believe is responsible for the shooting, and have been meeting regularly with a grand jury. “We pretty much know who did it, it’s just a matter of putting it all together,” McCarthy said. “And that person is in custody right now. He’s not on the street.”

The Sahara is a private club, meaning only members or guests with members are allowed inside, in a residential neighborhood on Oak Street. A new member, Angel Sanchez, owner of Le Drink House in Lawrence, rented the Sahara for a private party on Oct. 22. The shooting took place at closing time. Police Chief Joseph Solomon said he did not think the party was the impetus for Rivera’s death.

“I believe this incident was going to occur no matter where it happened,” Solomon said Tuesday. “I don’t believe this shooting was a result of the party.”

Members of the Lebbos family, who attended a licensing hearing Tuesday that included Solomon, said the club had metal detectors Oct. 22, and Sahara attorney William Amann said security personnel used wands on patrons.

“Next time you have an event where you need to set up a metal detector, don’t have the event,” Solomon said Tuesday in response.

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