LOWELL — A 20-year-old woman who was cut off by another motorist in Lowell on Thursday allegedly took revenge by fatally shooting him. Then she bragged about it on Facebook, saying she had warned the victim and his co-worker, “Don’t make me spank you,” authorities said.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said it appeared to be a “random encounter in traffic” and “possible road rage” that led to the shooting of Marc Devoe, 34, of Peabody.
Graciela Paulino of Lowell was arrested shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday and charged with murdering Devoe, Ryan said.
Paulino appeared Friday morning in Lowell District Court wearing a hooded sweatshirt and stood hunched over, trying to hide her face, during her arraignment. She was held without bail, and her case was continued to March 14.
Devoe’s father, Ron, who attended the arraignment, spoke to reporters outside the courthouse. Looking upset, he referenced the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., which happened Wednesday, the day before his son was killed.
“I got a call [telling me] my son’s been murdered,” he said. “I would recommend that this president make it his No. 1 priority to protect the people of this country. Let’s get this stopped. It’s going to get worse.”
According to a police report filed in court, the shooting occurred around 12:39 p.m. Thursday. Devoe’s co-worker, Brian Daigle, told police that he and Devoe were working construction jobs at the mill building near the Lowell Regional Transit Authority terminal, and went to pick up lunch. On the way back, Devoe “may have cut off” a car at the intersection of Gorham and Moore streets, Daigle said.
Daigle told police he then heard Devoe say, “Someone is following us . . . the kid is following us.”
When they got closer to the construction site, Devoe looked at the car behind them and said: “Someone is following us . . . I think we have a problem,” Daigle told police.
When the two men drove into a lot near the train station, the vehicle pulled up next to them. Daigle said he and Devoe got out and confronted the lone driver, later identified as Paulino.
Daigle said an argument ensued, and Devoe and Paulino “were yelling back and forth at each other.”
Daigle said he noticed Paulino reach to the left side of her waistband, and Daigle said, “C’mon, forget it, it’s just a girl,” and he and Devoe got back into their vehicle and drove away.
Daigle said they saw Paulino was following them again. Daigle said Devoe pulled over to the right side of the road and got out under the Hale Street Bridge. As Paulino drove past, Daigle told police, her car slowed down, and he heard a gunshot.
Daigle told police he saw a blood spot in the middle of Devoe’s chest. “I’ve been hit,” Devoe said. He climbed back into the driver’s seat and sped off after Paulino, until he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a Jersey barrier. Devoe then got out of the car and collapsed, the report states.
Devoe was taken to Lowell General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Less than two hours after the shooting, an ominous post appeared on Paulino’s Facebook page, apparently referring to the deadly encounter: “Tried to warn Em tried to tell Em told Em stop that you my son don’t make me spank you.”
Police noted the Facebook post in their report and used that information and witness interviews to request a warrant charging Paulino with murder.
It is not the first time Paulino has been in trouble with the law.
In July 2017, she was charged with resisting arrest, possession of a Class D drug, assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct. She also faced several charges stemming from an incident on Oct. 31, 2015, including illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, but those charges were dismissed, according to the Lowell District Court clerk’s office.
Andy Rosen of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.