LOWELL -- An unidentified man was found dead inside a home at Second and Read streets in Lowell's Centralville neighborhood Wednesday night shortly after police were called there to investigate a report that a man was shot.
Police were called to 49 Second St., at 8:12 p.m., when someone called 911 and reported a man had been shot on the second floor.
Police arrived to discover that male prone in the home's second floor, already dead. Trinity Ambulance and Lowell General Hospital paramedics rushed to the scene, but were unable to do anything for the man and did not take him to the hospital.
A neighborhood resident who declined to provide his name said he was walking up the street when he heard someone say, "he has a gun," and then heard two gunshots.
"I saw a guy run up Read Street and I think he turned up Third Street," that individual said.
It was not immediately clear if police found shell casings inside the home, but shortly after officers arrived they said in radio broadcasts that a 9mm handgun was involved.
Police quickly began searching for "four or five" Hispanic males who were dressed in all black, but a more detailed description was not immediately available.
Police canines from Lowell, Chelmsford and Westford were called to the scene to search for any guns or evidence that may have been discarded by fleeing suspects.
Superintendent William Taylor and Capt. Jonathan Webb, who commands detectives, were both on scene within a half hour, though neither could provide detailed information about what happened.
Taylor said the home was secured and that police were guarding the scene until investigators from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan's Office and the state police Crime Scene Services section arrived.
Taylor declined to say where the victim was shot.
The neighbor who heard the gunshots said there is often trouble in the neighborhood and at the home where the shooting occurred, including fights and drug use.
Christmas lights decorate handrails on either side of the multi-unit home's front steps.
Streets around the home were initially empty as police arrived in a bitter cold, but within a half hour about a dozen people had gathered across the street.
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.