Police report injury in shooting in North Cambridge (updated)

Cambridge Deputy Superintendent Paul Ames and another police official talk on Rindge Avenue early Monday while other officers search nearby with high-intensity lights after a midnight shooting. (Photo: Marc Levy)

What seemed to be the fifth shooting incident in four weeks came late Sunday, with police reporting someone shot a little before midnight in North Cambridge, causing officers to linger near Russell Field Park into early Monday. This shooting, though, looks to have been self-inflicted.

The victim was in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston with nonlife-threatening injuries, claiming to be hit in a drive-by shooting, Cambridge Deputy Superintendent Paul Ames said from the scene. Police were searching for evidence to confirm the drive-by shooting, Ames said.

By 9:40 a.m. Monday, police were able to release an official report: The man’s leg wound was self-inflicted at about 11:50 p.m., according to police spokesman Dan Riviello, citing “interviews with the victim, witnesses and neighbors who reported not hearing any gunshots.”

“The evidence does not substantiate the man’s claims,” Riviello said.

A search of the man’s apartment found a spent shell casing and two guns, he said.

Hours earlier, before this was known, police had cordoned off a stretch from 344 Rindge Ave. to 354 Rindge Ave. before reining in the yellow police tape a little more than a half-hour later, allowing cars to pass through to and from the Fresh Pond area. The area concerning police was south of Rindge, not on it, one officer suggested, and the police tape was stretched along the sidewalk on only the south side of the street.

On June 3, a drive-by shooting killed Charlene Holmes, 16, and injured Thanialee Cotto, 17, on Willow Street in the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood. On June 6, shots were fired without apparent injury in Hoyt Field in Riverside. On June 19, shots were fired without apparent injury in Dana Park in Cambridgeport. And on June 13, a car chase in Kendall Square led to a state trooper shooting at a suspect.

One person passing by the North Cambridge scene early Monday said there had been a gun incident in the same neighborhood Friday, but that it involved someone being taken to a hospital after being shot in the face by a gun they were holding. A police officer who overheard the story could not confirm it had taken place — saying, in fact, he hadn’t heard it had happened.

At 1:03 a.m., the police tape came down completely, but the officers and at least eight cruisers lingered, and at about 1:10 a.m. an ambulance arrived and was directed down the driveway by 344 Rindge Ave. Several minutes later police used high-intensity lights to search between 344 and 350 Rindge Ave.

While a passer-by said she’d been warned of gang activity in the area and to be on guard when leaving the Alewife T stop late at night, the neighborhood has not been notably violent recently. A drive-by shooting hurt a 16-year-old in late October 2007 and the site of six shootings since 2009.

By 1:30 a.m. the police had started to disperse.

This post was been updated with information provided by police spokesman Dan Riviello.

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