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Lowell mayor to raise police visibility after shooting

Calls incident ‘act of gang violence’

Lowell’s mayor vowed to increase police visibility on city streets after five people were shot at a barbecue late Wednesday in what officials called “an apparent act of gang violence.”

Mayor Rodney Elliott said the backyard shooting was the result of a fight between two local gangs.

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“We will hunt them down and hold them accountable,” Elliott said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Police arrived at a home on Midland Street shortly before midnight Wednesday and found three men and two women suffering from gunshot wounds.

One of the women was shot in the chest, but the injuries are all believed not to be life-threatening, Lowell police Captain Kelly Richardson said.

The other female’s hip was grazed by a bullet.

One male was shot in the finger and arm, another was shot in the upper left thigh, and a third was shot in the right thigh, Richardson said.

Elliott said he wanted residents to know that investigators are not taking this lightly.

No one had been arrested in the Wednesday attack, but police continue to search for those responsible.

The mayor asked the public for help.

“We are looking for people in the city to tell us what they know,” the mayor said.

State and local police will keep a careful watch on the city this weekend, Elliott said.

“We work hard to make sure people feel safe,” Elliott said. “We are moving quickly and swiftly to make sure we find out what happened.”

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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