LYNN — A man is dead and three others were injured in a shooting at Warren Street Playground Saturday night, police said.
The 34-year-old man, whom police have not identified, was shot in the head and went into traumatic cardiac arrest. He was later pronounced dead at Salem Hospital, police and fire officials said.
Two women, 18 and 20 years old, found with gunshot wounds, were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries, according to Lynn Fire Capt. Joseph Zukas, the city’s emergency medical services director.
Police later said the women’s injuries were non-life-threatening.
“We only go to Mass General for very serious injuries,” said Zukas, explaining that medics on scene made the determination that there wasn’t enough time to take the man to MGH as well.
Later that night, a fourth victim showed up at Salem Hospital. The 49-year-old man was shot and his dog was also hit with gunfire, Zukas said.
The dog was treated, but had to be put down, according to Lynn Police Lt. Michael Kmiec.
Police and fire responded to the Warren Street shooting shortly after 7 p.m. Shots rang out as an East/West Lynn youth basketball game and a nearby block party was in full swing. Ward 6 Councilor Fred Hogan, one of the founding members of the Stop the Violence Lynn initiative, said he was walking up to the playground and heard 15 to 20 shots.
“One hundred and fifty kids dispersed everywhere,” said Hogan. “We got everybody to safety. I saw a kid lying on the ground. I wanted to make sure he was alright and it wasn’t good at all. I took his pulse and (I thought) he wasn’t alive.”
Following the shooting, crime scene tape blocked off Warren from the corner of George Street all the way down to Commercial Street. Investigators were still conferring in the middle of the playground well past 11 p.m.
The active investigation stood in stark contrast with a block party that was at its height on George Street, a side street that runs off of Warren. About 40 people were enjoying themselves and several were dancing in the street as music played.
Simmie Anderson, a community activist involved in Lynn youth athletics, said he couldn’t pinpoint a specific reason as to why violence broke out, but didn’t think it necessarily suggested an uptick or point to a particular trend.
“But it’s so close to (Connery Elementary School) and we just got a grant to do the park over,” Anderson said.
By Sunday morning, the scene was quiet and no longer cordoned off with “crime scene” tape. But liquor bottles and trash covered Warren Street Playground. The litter was cleaned up during a noon clean-up organized by Stop the Violence, which Hogan said also included wiping the blood off of the basketball courts. About 20 people came out to the community event.
“It’s open again and we want the kids to understand this is their park and this is their community,” said Hogan. “This is what Lynn is about. Lynn is about community.”
The fatal shooting and mess came following the city’s $120,000 investment to revamp the park this summer. Two new basketball courts have been installed and a $50,000 playground will be placed in the next six weeks to replace the existing broken swing set.
“It’s just a shame that it’s a new park and it’s got to be spoiled by this,” said John Ford, a School Committee member and a founding member of Stop the Violence, during Sunday’s clean-up.
Zukas said firefighters on scene said investigators were looking for a suspect wearing a hood or mask.
No arrests have been made and the incident is under investigation by Lynn Police, the Essex County District Attorney’s office and the Essex State Police Detective Unit.