Police at scene before fatal melee
By Jack Minch, email@example.com
Posted: 09/08/2009 06
06 AM EDT
FITCHBURG -- Shortly before the violence that led to a double slaying broke out early Sunday, police had visited the scene on Mechanic Street in response to a report of a fight, said Chief Robert DeMoura.
Nobody was in the parking lot outside the multifamily home at 96 Mechanic St., when officers arrived, DeMoura said. They spoke to the people inside the first-floor apartment where there was a small gathering about 3 a.m., he said.
"They said there were a few people there," DeMoura said. "They looked inside .... there wasn't anybody causing a disturbance and they left."
Two people were killed and two others injured in the melee that started Sunday about 4:40 a.m., in a squabble over parking spaces, District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said Monday.
"One vehicle was blocking the other vehicle," Early said. "So there was a request at some point to move the vehicle. This led to an exchange of words, which led to a further exchange of words. It then escalated to where there was violence using knives, guns and a machete."
Pedro Genoa, 17, of 137 Meadowbrook Lane, a junior at Fitchburg High School, died at UMass Medical Center in Worcester after suffering several injuries, including a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Nelson Geraldino, 18, of 15 Crestview Lane, was stabbed multiple times and died at HealthAlliance Hospital/Leominster.
Genoa's brother, Ronny Genoa, 18, of 137 Meadowbrook Lane, who graduated from Montachusett Regional Technical
High School in Fitchburg this year, suffered multiple gunshot wounds, Early's office said. He was in UMass Medical Center, but his condition was not available Monday evening. Early's office said he was in stable condition Sunday.
Orville Carrion, 22, and Jose Carrion, 27, both of 96 Mechanic St., Unit 3, were treated and released at HealthAlliance Hospital/Leominster, then charged with murder.
Ronny Genoa is charged with assault with intent to murder and mayhem.
All three men were held without bail.
The Carrions are scheduled for arraignment at Fitchburg District Court today.
One other person whom officials did not identify suffered serious head and arm injuries, Early said.
Early also said a 15-year-old middle-school student was also involved in the melee, but it was unclear whether he was among those injured.
A gun recovered from the scene belonged to Orville Carrion, who had a license to carry the weapon, Early said. He declined to say whether all the weapons have been recovered.
"The party was being hosted by an adult," he said. "That's all part of the investigation. It's something we're looking at -- whether there was alcohol involved, whether there were drugs involved."
The earlier call apparently had nothing to do with the shooting, Early said.
DeMoura said there would be a strong police presence at Fitchburg High School and Longsjo Middle School today, and that he will meet with Superintendent of Schools Andre Ravenelle today to discuss the killings.
Neighbors described a scene of fear and chaos during the fighting. The area was dark because streetlights along Mechanic Street have been turned off, they said.
"It was very loud," said Jennifer Gilchrist of 110 Mechanic St. "It scared me because I thought they were going to shoot into my house. The kids were screaming, 'Help, help, don't shoot me.'"
Police are investigating why such young people were at a gathering with an adult so late in the evening, Early said.
Jim Morgan and Joe Beatham, of 104 Mechanic St., said they woke up to the sound of gunshots next door.
One of the victims collapsed in front of their home while another dropped to the ground across the street, they said.
"There was a bunch of shooting and a lot of screaming," said Morgan, who called 911. "You could hear people saying, 'Help, help, help me.'"
Beatham said he has lived in his home for 15 years, and the violence was out of character for his neighbors. The house next door is normally quiet, he said.
"It seems since the streetlights were turned off, things are escalating," he said. "We were in pitch blackness."
Maria Troche, of 113 Mechanic St., said her husband installed a large parking lot-style light on the front of the house after the shooting.
"Yes, I'm scared," she said.
Yahaira Figueroa, who lives on the second floor at 96 Mechanic St. with her two children, said parking is a regular problem. She described the Carrions as courteous people but did not know them well.
She lamented the violence and said she had planned to move even before Sunday's shootings.
"When there is alcohol and stuff going on, nothing good is going to happen," she said.