A 30-year-old man was shot early Friday in Methuen after an altercation inside a local hookah store spilled onto the street, and the victim was listed in critical condition after being rushed to a Boston hospital, police said.
Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon said the shooting occurred around 3 a.m. in the area of 170 Broadway, and the victim suffered life-threatening injuries.
The man’s name wasn’t immediately available. The suspect remained at large later Friday morning.
Methuen police tweeted that the wounded man was “MedFlighted to Boston” and that witnesses were being interviewed.
Solomon said authorities are working to determine what touched off the dispute inside the store.
“We just know there was the event inside, some type of altercation, and a couple of people went outside” where the shooting happened, Solomon said.
He said in a follow-up tweet that all “indications are this was NOT a random act of violence and was specifically related to that specific location as the result of an incident. More updates as they become available. [Victim’s] status critical.”
Crime scene photos posted to the police department’s Twitter feed showed a canine unit scouring the area for evidence.
The hookah store at 170 Broadway is called Mr. Hookah, according to its Facebook page.
“Taking care of all your hookah needs,” the Facebook profile says. “Best prices and largest selection in town.”
Phone and e-mail messages left for the shop weren’t immediately returned.
Police said in a statement that the shooting was “under investigation by the Essex District Attorney’s Office, Essex State Police Detective Unit and other Massachusetts State Police assets and the Methuen Police Department. When additional information becomes available, it will be released. In the meantime, the agencies cannot comment on a possible motive or suspects.”