Sep. 13—NORTH ANDOVER — Lewis Aquino, 18, of Lawrence was arraigned in Lawrence District Court Tuesday on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault, and carrying a loaded weapon.
The charges stemmed from an incident Sunday at Fieldstone Court in which police say Aquino shot his uncle, Eric Moreno, 40, of North Andover, wounding him in the leg.
"He was just really upset with his mother, the family, and the fact that the police were involved," said Detective Lt. Eric Foulds of the North Andover Police Department. "There were a number of factors that built up, that got this kid's anxiety very worked up. We don't know what the trigger was."
Foulds said that the police were already in the area responding to an unrelated call before the shots were fired, possibly adding to Aquino's agitation.
"Just the sight of the police upset him," Foulds said.
Based on witness testimony and video evidence, Foulds also said that Aquino fired his gun into the air a few times before shooting at his uncle, who was later transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
After responding to the shooting, Foulds said police searched for Aquino Sunday night but were unable to locate him at Fieldstone Court or in the surrounding area.
"He turned himself in the following day to North Andover Police at the police department," Foulds said.
Rosemary Klein, a mental health professional who evaluated Aquino, told Judge Holly Broadbent at the arraignment that she recommended in-patient care for Aquino.
"It's apparent to me that this young man is not currently competent to stand trial," Klein said.
"He may be in the early stages of suffering from a severe mental illness," Klein said, adding that she "wouldn't rule out schizophrenia or manic depression."
After initially forbidding contact between Aquino and members of his family in the near future, Broadbent excepted the defendant's mother, Virginia Moreno, who expressed a desire to stay in contact with her son.
Aquino will be held without bail at a facility in Worcester pending further observation and another competency hearing. He is also being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.