Aug 9, 2015 10:21 PM
MANCHESTER - According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the MS-13 gang is one of the most violent and dangerous in the nation.
The gang's name was seen spray-painted on an apartment building and a car at the scene of a shooting near School Street on Saturday morning.
The shooting left one man with non-life threatening injuries.
Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard told NH1 News the department does not believe that members of the MS-13 gang are really in Manchester.
According to the Dept. of Justice, however, the potential presence and threat of the gang in New Hampshire is still high.
Data shows the gang has grown in 42 states, and has between 6,000 to 10,000 members nationwide. Their threat level to the general public is also highest in the northeast and western parts of the country.
“They’re not nice," said John Hoyt of Manchester. "They cut people up and decapitate people just like ISIS and some of the other terrorist organizations.”
A FBI threat assessment says the gang “perpetrates violence” – including brutal assaults, rapes, kidnappings and vicious murders.
The gang, deemed "exceedingly violent," often uses guns and machetes to commit crimes.
Typically, they target middle and high school students as recruits.
At the scene of Saturday's shooting, neighbors said on Sunday that damage to several cars from the gunfight included smashed windows and bullet holes in multiple vehicles.
“I heard about six shots, and that was it," said Steve Nadeau, who lives nearby. “A confrontation had gone overboard and all that. Pretty much stupidity.”
Police had the scene closed off Saturday to look into what happened. Authorities say there is no indication that the spray-painted gang name indicates a credible presence in the Queen City.
The shooting victim was taken to Catholic Medical Center. His identity and condition was unavailable on Sunday evening.
Police arrested 39-year-old Marcos Nieves for first degree assault, reckless conduct and as a felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities did not say if he’s connected to the gang.
"I’m not worried about it," Nadeau said. "Gangs up here – they’re copy cats."
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