Lawrence police seek help after wave of gun violence rocks city

LAWRENCE, MA (WHDH) - A recent string of shootings has forced police in the city of Lawrence to issue a call for help.

Ten shootings have rocked the city in the last seven days, including two homicides over the weekend. The recent rash of violence has left law enforcement officials reeling.

Abdul Lopez, 35, of Lowell, was shot dead Saturday just before 2:30 a.m. outside of a Lawrence Burger King at Broadway and Concord Street. He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A man and woman were shot Sunday around 8 p.m. outside La Cava Bar on Union Street. Arielis Valdez, 40, of Lowell, was pronounced dead at Lawrence General Hospital. The male victim was taken to a Boston hospital and is expected to survive.

Police Chief James Fitzpatrick says he is calling on state and federal agencies for help in cracking down on the availability and use of guns.

“Ease of access is always an issue. We don’t want these people carrying firearms,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re going to not only bring in investigative personal, we’re going to have uniformed personnel along with state police.”

Beginning on May 1, Fitzpatrick plans to bring on two full-time sheriff’s deputies to serve warrants. A Lawrence Police Department detective will undergo ATF training and a special prosecutor will take charge of cases involving gun crime. Residents said they hope to see change.

“It’s worrisome for the citizens of Lawrence that when the sun goes down, we stay inside,” said Arlene Garcia.

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