- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) - The city of Lawrence is asking for extra help as it tries to stem a recent spate of gun violence that left two people dead in separate weekend shootings.

Police Chief James Fitzpatrick is asking for extra commitment from state and federal authorities, and a special prosecutor to pursue gun crimes in federal court where penalties are often more severe.

Fitzpatrick says there have been 10 incidences of gunfire in the city this month alone. The two fatal shootings last weekend bring the number of homicides to six this year.

The chief is asking state police to step up patrols in the city and is seeking the expertise of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Police say the shootings are rooted in drugs and domestic violence.

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