LAWRENCE — Trouble had visited the house on Holly Street before.
In the past 14 months, police responded to about three dozen incidents there. But Saturday night’s call was especially chilling: A grandmother cradling her granddaughter on the front porch was shot and wounded as she shielded the newborn, Lawrence police said Monday.
The victim, Nelida Lozada, 37, was sitting on the wooden porch outside her first-floor apartment at 59 Holly St., when a man on foot fired at least two shots in her direction from about 25 feet away, police said.
One bullet hit Lozada in the shoulder while she protected the baby and turned to go inside, and a second bullet lodged in a washing machine inside the apartment. Lozada was taken to Lawrence General Hospital to have the bullet removed. She was released Monday.
“This was not a random incident, but we do not believe she was the intended target,” said Police Chief John Romero. “Given the activity in and around the home, we do believe it is gang-related.”
‘That location has been problematic regularly in the past.’
The girl turned a month old Monday, Lozada’s daughter told WCVB-TV (Channel 5) Monday.
The gunman “was going to take a whole life away from a newborn baby,” said the daughter, who asked not to be named. “He’s a heartless person out there, and they should catch him, because he’s just going to keep hurting innocent people.
“Luckily, my mom saved her granddaughter,” she said.
The house, or someone else in the home, probably was the target of Saturday’s shooting, but not Lozada, Romero said.
Lozada “had nothing to do with this,” Romero said. “She is an innocent victim, and we are trying to solve this crime.”
The address is a regular stop for Lawrence police, who reported nearly 40 incidents since June last year, the chief said.
In the past year, the police calls have included three arrests, two burglaries, an assault and battery, two fights, noise disturbances, disorderly conduct, restraining orders, and malicious damage, according to records. A Lawrence police detective told Romero the same family has lived there for more than a year.
“That location has been problematic regularly in the past,” Romero said of the Holly Street residence. No one living at the address was available Monday to discuss the history of police calls.
It is the same site where a shooting took place last Christmas, after an argument between two groups led first to a fight and then to a shooting.
Earlier Saturday, a fight at a party just minutes from where Lozada was shot had turned into the weekend’s first shooting in Lawrence. Police do not believe the incidents are related, Romero said.
Graffiti plasters walls on buildings next to the Holly Street home, and weeds choke the sidewalk. Broken alcohol bottles dot the walkway outside the Holly Street address.
The gang violence in this neighborhood, just north of downtown Lawrence, and other parts of the city is fueled primarily by petty arguments among groups from different areas, Romero said.
The city is not experiencing the major crimes sometimes associated with gang activity, such as drug trafficking, said Romero.
Several people on Holly Street said violence is something they have just accepted.
“This is Lawrence; people get shot every day,” said a construction worker toiling with cables on Holly Street. He asked not to be named. “I’m just laying the fiber cable, doing my job, and getting out of here.”
N. Mattero and Melissa
Werthmann contributed to this
report. Matt Woolbright can be
reached at matt.woolbright@
globe.com. Follow him on