Lawrence girl, 16, shot in street fight

TIM JEAN/Staff photoLawrence police responded to High Street late Friday night for a report of shots fired. Shortly thereafter, a 16-year-old girl arrived by car at Lawrence General Hospital with a gunshot wound, according to a police statement.

LAWRENCE — A 16-year-old Lawrence High School freshman is in serious condition at a Boston hospital after she was shot in the head late Friday while fleeing a street fight on High Street, police said.

The victim, Geylin Pichardo, lives in the Brook Street neighborhood. There was no word on the condition of the girl Saturday night.

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Police said they expect to arrest a suspect – possibly a man dating the mother of another girl involved in the fight – sometime soon.

The incident began at about 9 p.m. Friday when a black BMW allegedly driven by Christian Figueroa, a 20-year-old Lawrence man, turned onto the 300 block of High Street, police said. Pichardo was a passenger in the BMW and may have been looking to confront another girl who lives on the street, police said.

A fight erupted on the street. Figueroa stepped from the BMW and fired at least one gunshot into the air, police said, citing witness accounts.

The mother of one of the girls who lives on the street and was involved in the fight alerted her boyfriend, who came from a house and fired into the BMW as it was driving away, striking Pichardo, police said.

Figueroa took the injured girl to Lawrence General Hospital, where employees called police, as is routine when a shooting victim arrives.

Police arrested Figueroa at the hospital on a warrant they obtained earlier Friday on charges he allegedly committed another assault in Lawrence over the last few weeks and fired shots into the air after that alleged attack.

Police Chief Roy Vasque said he expects Figueroa will now also be charged with firing a gun after Friday night's incident on High Street. He is being held at Lawrence police headquarters pending his transfer to the Middleton jail, where he will await his arraignment in Lawrence District Court.

Police recovered the gun Figueroa allegedly used Friday night, which they said was thrown from the BMW as he drove to Lawrence General Hospital.

State police assigned to the Essex County district attorney are assisting Lawrence police in the investigation.

Vasque said other officers told him that Figueroa was friends with Leonel Rondon, the 18-year-old student at Phoenix Charter Academy who was the only fatality in the gas explosions and fires that destroyed or damaged scores of buildings in Lawrence and the Andovers on Sept. 13. Vasque said Figueroa may have been a passenger in Rondon's car when Rondon pulled into a driveway on Chickering Road moments before the adjoining house exploded and toppled its chimney onto the car, killing him.

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