REPORT: Wilmington Man Shot 5 Times In Drug Deal Gone Wrong

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Wilmington Apple prides itself on not reporting on other news outlets’ articles, but this particular story was too shocking not to make an exception. Read more about this story from the Lowell Sun’s June 8 article by Rob Mills.)

LOWELL, MA – An unnamed 51-year-old Wilmington man was shot five times on Monday, May 25 during a drug deal in Lowell at Middlesex Street and Webber Street.

The man’s 16-year-old son drove him to the deal. The boy heard the gunshots and his father’s screams. He then witnessed the terrifying aftermath, including his bleeding father running back into the vehicle and dialing 911 while he drove away from the scene.

According to the Lowell Sun, the victim told police he asked his son to drive him to Lowell because the son needed to practice driving after recently receiving his license.

The boy, according to his father, was unaware of his plans to purchase crack cocaine from a dealer known as “Asian John.”

The man suffered gunshots to both hands, chest, and leg. He was rushed to Lowell General Hospital and flown to a Boston trauma center, where he underwent successful surgery for his life-threatening wounds. He is expected to survive.

The man told the police his dealer immediately opened fire without saying a word.  The dealer may have felt disrespected after the man previously complained about a “bad batch” of crack he was sold.

Police arrested suspect Burith Phan, of Lowell, after he was picked out of a photo array by the victim and another eye witness. Phan, who is described as having an “extensive and extremely violent criminal history,” was charged with armed assault with intent to murder; possession of a loaded firearm without a license; discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling; possession of a firearm without an FID; and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.  He was also arrested on a probation violation from a prior case in which he pled guilty to five counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Phan’s attorney says his client is a “victim of mistaken identity.”

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