By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
A weekend filled with gun play and stabbings has left one man dead and police searching for answers, just two weeks into the New Year.
According to Lynn police reports a Lynn man died Friday night, following a reported shooting on Chestnut Street and as many as a half-dozen other shootings and two knife attacks followed through Saturday and into the early morning on Sunday.
29-year old Hanky Betancourt of Lynn was declared dead from a gunshot wound, after he arrived at Union Hospital following the first shooting incident Friday night, at approximately 9 p.m.
According to Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokesperson for the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, Lynn police received a report of a man suffering a gunshot wound at Union Hospital Friday night, shortly after responding to Chestnut Street on a report of gunshots there. That victim, Betancourt, died a short time later.
Following the shooting that claimed Betancourt’s life, Lynn police confirmed that several other shootings were reported over the following 36 hours. All of the shooting incidents are still under investigators and the integrity of the investigation, no further details were released as of Tuesday night, January 17.
It appears that as part of the investigation into the shootings, one arrest was made, but police have declined to say whether that arrest was related to Betancourt’s shooting death or one of the other reported shooting incidents.
Matthew Sao, 24, of High Rock St. was arrested on Saturday night. He has been charged with firearm and drug related offenses, violation of the city knife ordinance, receiving stolen property and failure to stop/ or yield.
With no official word from Lynn police, witnesses to some of the shootings have said that responding police officers have told them that the rash of shootings may be related to the incident that ended Betancourt’s life, perhaps as retribution or retaliation.
So far no new victims have been identified or come forward.
Separately, Lynn police are also investigating two reported stabbings in the area of Central Square on Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Police received a report at approximately 3:12 a.m. on Sunday morning, that 19-year old stabbing victim had reported that he was attacked in Central Square, while walking with his brother. The victim later told police that he was stabbed during an attempted robbery, when one of three men that had approached he and his brother, showed a knife and demanded money. The victim and his brother attempted to flee and he was stabbed.
Prior to speaking to police, the victim had been driven to Salem hospital, where e received treatment for a non-life threatening injury to his leg
Just two hours later, a 34-year old homeless man, who had been slashed in the face with a knife, told police that he had been jumped by a group of possibly six men, who emptied his pockets and slashed him with his own pocket knife.
The second victim was taken to Union Hospital for treatment.