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7 young adults shot at pop-up party organized on social media in Massachusetts city

7 injured, 2 critically, after shots ring out at pop-up party in Methuen
7 injured, 2 critically, after shots ring out at pop-up party in Methuen 02:02

METHUEN — Massachusetts police say gunfire erupted and multiple people were shot early Sunday morning during a pop-up party organized on social media.

Seven people were shot and wounded during the overnight violence. An eighth person was hurt while running away when shots rang out at a large gathering of young people in Methuen, authorities said Sunday.

DA calls it "tragic case of gun violence"

The gunfire began just before 2 a.m. after hundreds of people gathered for a pop-up party billed as a car meetup organized on social media, officials said at a news conference. The party happened in an industrial park along Lindburg Avenue, a secluded area of Methuen. Tire tracks from drivers doing donuts could still be seen on the ground Sunday evening.

"I don't know what really happened and how but hopefully it will never happen again," said Manuel Herrera who lives nearby.

The victims range in age from 17 to 22 years old. Two of the victims are in critical condition.

"That's very family-friendly area, it's a nice area to live," said Methuen resident Joseph Autiio. "I'm honestly shocked it happened over there. I think social media affects everybody. Everybody's connected and can see things going on on social media, especially young kids, and it definitely affects the way they think and it's getting worse and worse, obviously. It's sad, especially that people got shot."

"This is another tragic case of gun violence that brings us together this morning," Essex County District Attorney Paul Tucker said. "It's pretty amazing that with the amount of ballistics evidence that we're recovering that more people weren't hurt." 

Pop-up party was organized on social media

Authorities declined to comment on the number of suspects. No arrests have been made, and no weapons have been recovered.

Metheun Police Chief Scott McNamara said authorities have been monitoring other "hot spots" where such gatherings typically take place, but Sunday's attack happened in a new location and was the first to turn violent.

"Usually these meet-ups consist of very loud music, disorderly conduct, sometimes drinking," he said. "We try to take action where we can to discourage it, and we've been fairly successful in that regard. Unfortunately we did experience a tragic incident here in Metheun last night."

No suspects have been identified. Tucker said they're pursuing all potential leads in the case.

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