UTEC’s New Haverhill Youth Workers: Curbing City Violence Is a Team Effort

UTEC’s Miguel Quinones (left) and Jonathan Lunde joined Bill Macek on WHAV’s Open Mic Show to discuss their efforts in Haverhill. (WHAV News photograph)

As Haverhill grapples with four shootings in the last six weeks—three of them fatal—members of the city’s new violence prevention outfit UTEC are firing on all cylinders to keep the community safe. In an appearance on WHAV’s New Open Mic Show With Bill Macek on Monday, Jonathan Lunde and Miguel Quinones explained that the outreach group has developed a team approach to address violence in Haverhill. “It’s going to take all of us. It’s all about us becoming one, all of us chipping in,” said Haverhill Program Manager Quinones, adding that UTEC is working with Mayor James J. Fiorentini, the Haverhill Police Department and agencies including Community Action.

Fifth Avenue Shooting Is Retaliation for Colon Murder, Say Haverhill Police

Nike Colon’s May murder triggered a “gang war” in Haverhill between two rival groups, according to police. (File photograph)

The May murder of 20-year-old Haverhill man Nike Colon triggered what police say is an all-out “gang war,” according to an affidavit filed after the city’s most recent shooting. In court documents obtained by WHAV, Haverhill Police say the June 15 shooting on Fifth Avenue was a retaliatory strike against the gang that allegedly killed Colon. Summed up Detective Ruben Jimenez: “I believe the assault is a result of a gang war between these two rival gangs.”

Although the gang affiliations are known to WHAV, our policy is not to provide additional notoriety to the groups by naming them. The victim in the Fifth Avenue shooting, a 21-year-old man, is a close friend of Colon’s alleged killer Eddy Almonte, according to police.

Updated: Haverhill Man Arrested for Fifth Avenue Shooting

A Haverhill man has been arrested in connection with the June 15 shooting on 5th Avenue. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News)
Six days after a city man survived a late-night shooting on Fifth Avenue, an 18-year-old Haverhill resident has been arrested and charged with armed assault to murder. Eighteen-year-old Rony Vasquez, of 11 High St., was taken into custody Thursday morning at 8:45 a.m. at 15 Dudley St., by Officer Michael Tortorise on a warrant related to the June 15 shooting. He also faces a suspended license charge, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and a charge tied to the possession of a loaded firearm, according to a Haverhill Police arrest log. The 21-year-old shooting victim is recovering at home and in stable condition according to police.

Updated: Man Suffers Serious Injuries in Shooting on Haverhill’s Fifth Avenue

A man suffered serious injuries in a late night shooting on Haverhill’s Fifth Avenue. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News)

Haverhill Police responded to a call of shots fired late Friday in the area of 45 Fifth Avenue in an exchange of gunfire that left a man with, as police describe, as “non fatal, serious injuries.”

According to police spokesman Lt. Robert P. Pistone, the unidentified victim was first treated at a local hospital and then taken to a Boston hospital following the 11:30 p.m. shooting. The incident, which comes one month after the back-to-back murders of city men Jeffrey Larkin and Nike Colon, remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the Fifth Avenue shooting is asked to call Haverhill Police at 978-373-1212. Anonymous tips are accepted.

Almonte Held Without Bail for Colon Murder; Video Footage Fingers Him as Alleged Triggerman

Eddy Almonte, arrested May 29 during an unrelated motor vehicle stop in Winchester, Va., was arraigned for the murder of Nike Colon Monday in Haverhill District Court. (Courtesy booking photograph)

A handcuffed Eddy Almonte appeared in Haverhill District Court Monday to answer to murder charges brought two weeks after the death of 20-year-old Nike Colon. Clad in a white T-shirt with his hair pulled back in a ponytail, Almonte appeared before Judge Stephen Abany, who ordered him held without bail on murder charges. Almonte, who requested the services of a Spanish-language interpreter during the 15-minute hearing, said he could not afford a lawyer and asked for a court-appointed attorney. He was represented Monday by Boston-based defense attorney Eduardo A. Masferrer.

Code of Silence—Not Courts—Frees Gun Suspects; Grand Jury Indicts One More

Haverhill Police survey the scene of the recent shooting on Washington Street. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News)

It was an unwritten code of silence, and not the courts, that is responsible for the release of at least three men implicated in Haverhill’s recent spate of often deadly shootings. Last week’s special investigative report by WHAV revealed ties between the recent shooting death of 20-year-old Nike Colon and shotgun violence at Swasey Field two years ago. The common element—in 2016 and now—was Colon’s accused murderer Eddy Manuel Almonte. He had been charged in 2016 with gun crimes, but later released.

Haverhill Groups Plan Tuesday ‘Stop the Violence’ Vigil In Wake of City Murders

Haverhill residents are gathering at GAR. park Tuesday, June 5 for a “Stop the Violence” Vigil. (File photograph)

Several city civic and community groups are coming together Tuesday night at Haverhill’s GAR Park to peacefully protest the recent uptick in violence, including the recent murder of Nike Colon. Community Action, the Mount Washington Alliance, Urban Kindness, Haverhill High School’s VIP program and POSE (Power of Self Education) are among the organizations set to gather from 6-8 p.m. Following speeches and other activities at GAR Park, the group intends to walk to Harbor Place for a candid and open community discussion on how to find solutions to crime. In the case of inclement weather, the rally will move indoors at the Welcome Street Citizens Center.