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Public works employee shot to death in Lawrence was not ‘intended target,’ investigators say

Investigators in Lawrence identified a Department of Public Works employee who was shot and killed while repairing potholes as a Methuen resident and said he was not the “intended target” of Wednesday afternoon’s fatal attack.

In a brief statement, Lawrence officials identified the slain worker as Marcos A. Ruiz-Rodriguez, 52, a longtime city public works employee. According to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque, Ruiz-Rodriguez was working on road repairs on Andover Street at the time of the shooting. Police responded and transported Ruiz-Rodriguez to Lawrence General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“Investigators do not believe that he was the intended target of the shooting at this time,” the statement said.

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“The matter remains under investigation by the Essex District Attorney’s Office, the Essex State Police Detective Unit and the Lawrence Police,” the statement said. “No arrests have been made.”

In a Facebook post, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said he met with Department of Public Works employees on Thursday morning “to let them know we are all in support of them.”

“These are some of the hardest working city employees who often times do some thankless work — pushing snow, picking up trash, picking up needles,” Rivera said in his post. “To see a fellow employee die in this manner is unsettling to say the least.”

Rivera said flags are flying at half-staff in Ruiz-Rodriguez’s memory.

Carlos Jaquez, the former director of Lawrence’s Department of Public Works, said he worked with Ruiz-Rodriguez, who went by Tony, for about two-and-a-half years until Jaquez assumed his new role as deputy director of the Andover Department of Public Works this summer.

“He was a very dependable person, a very good person, and someone you could always count on to get the job done,” Jaquez said of his former colleague. “He got along well with a lot of people.”

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Deanna Pan can be reached at deanna.pan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @DDpan.