LOWELL - A conflict at a party escalated outside a home in the Highlands neighborhood late Wednesday night, erupting in gunfire that left five people wounded, police said.

The victims were three men and two women, police Capt. Kelly Richardson said on Thursday morning. All injuries are not life-threatening, he said.

Police have said a female who was shot in the chest suffered what appeared to be the most serious wounds. The woman and a man who was shot in the leg were taken to the hospital by ambulance, police said.

The shootings occurred at 58 Midland St.

(SUN/ROBERT MILLS)
, a well-kept white house about two blocks up from Chelmsford Street in the city's Highlands neighborhood. Neighbors said there had been a party there much of the night; bottles and beer cans, grills, coolers, chairs and a picnic table were visible outside on Thursday morning. Two detectives, Corey Erickson and James Cassella, were talking to residents on Thursday morning as part of the investigation.

Several neighbors said they heard noises that they believed were fireworks since there have been numerous instances of fireworks going off in the area recently. It was not until emergency vehicles flooded the street that many neighbors began to realize what happened.

Neighbors said there have been frequent parties at the home since a new family moved in about a year ago, but there had been no problems outside of large noise.

One man said he heard at least seven gunshots fired in rapid succession. Police said they recovered more than seven shell casings in the street in front of the home, but could not immediately provide an exact number.

Last July 13, just before midnight, police responded a few blocks away to a shooting at Forest and Blodgett streets.

In that incident, a man was shot several times and hospitalized.

Police said the incident does not appear to be random.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lowell police at 978-937-3200 or Crimestoppers at 978-459-TIPS (8477). Tipsters can remain anonymous, but can receive up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

For more on this story, visit www.lowellsun.com throughout the day.