LAWRENCE, Mass. — A Lawrence DPW worker of more than a decade was shot and killed on the job and now investigators say he was not the intended target.
Police in Lawrence were called to the area of Andover and Clifton streets around 2 p.m. Wednesday for a reported shooting. Officials say 52-year-old Marcos A. Ruiz-Rodriguez was doing roadwork when shots rang out in the middle of the afternoon. He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The city worker was respected and beloved by everyone around him.
“It’s tough for all of us, you got to keep a strong mind at the end of the day,” said Alvin Francisco, Lawrence DPW.
Grief counselors were made available at the Lawrence Public Library for Ruiz-Rodriguez’s coworkers. After meeting there, a dozen workers went to where his body was found to light candles and reflect.
“It’s frightening because now we have to, the minute we leave that yard we have to be attentive,” said Francisco.
Keany Colon, a childhood friend of Ruiz-Rodriguez, came to pay his respects at the memorial site.
“He is one of the main guys who was working for the city, one of the main guys. For this to happen in broad day light, come on,” said Colon.
Colon held back tears as he talked about his slain friend.
“We’ve been over 20 years working for the city. I went to Lawrence High with him. He used to play for me at my club,” Colon said.
Dorthy Mohr works across the street and says they heard shots and one bullet pierced a license plate of a van parked outside.
“It’s just very unfortunate there were several and that’s all we knew until we came out to look and the poor gentleman was on the ground,” said Mohr.
Francisco said the murder is unsettling.
“Until they catch that guy, no one will have that calmness in our hearts,” he said.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera released a statement on the shooting, saying:
DPW workers say Ruiz-Rodriguez is from Puerto Rico and has a large family who are trying to fly here for his funeral, which hasn’t been finalized.
Ruiz-Rodriguez was known to be a compassionate, hard-working man who died doing an honest living, his friends and colleagues said.
“Now he’s watching over us,” Colon said.
The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.
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