THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Motorist, apparently shot, crashes in Lynn

By Stewart Bishop
Globe Correspondent / February 7, 2011

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LYNN — Arthur Prince was helping his girlfriend unload groceries from the car Saturday evening when they heard shots ring out and saw a pickup truck crash into a snowbank in front of their house.

“It was pretty extreme. It all happened so fast,’’ Prince said. “I heard somewhere between five to 10 shots.’’

State Police said one man was wounded in the shooting, which happened around 7 p.m. in the area of Howard and Lander streets. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston with life-threatening injuries, State Police said.

Prince rushed inside and got their four children to lie on the floor and take cover.

“We have four kids that were less than 10 feet away when the shots rang out. That’s outrageous,’’ Prince said in an interview outside his home yesterday. “God forbid one of those rounds would have gone through the window. I am horrified.’’

Prince said it appeared the victim was shot as he was driving and then crashed into the snow. As he approached the truck, Prince said, a man fell out and onto the ground. The injured man looked to be in severe pain and was drifting in and out of consciousness, Prince said.

“All the time I’ve been here, I’ve never seen anything that bad,’’ Prince said.

Stephen O’Connell, a spokesman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, confirmed that the shooting victim was still hospitalized yesterday. Authorities identified him as Paul Cuqua, 38, of Lynn. He was listed in critical condition at Mass. General last night.

Prince said the neighborhood is generally peaceful, with many children, and is close to a school zone. He said he hoped police would now step up patrols in the area.

“That was way too close for comfort,’’ Prince said.

Stewart Bishop can be reached at sbishop@globe.com.