• NE Unsolved: Authorities search for answers in New Year's Eve murder


    (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Massachusetts State Police detectives are asking FOX 25 and the public for help solving a horrific murder that occurred in Lawrence on New Year's Eve.

    Johann Miranda, a 29-year-old father of two, was gunned down in front of eyewitnesses in Lawrence just before 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2011.

    It appears the motive may have been a heated argument over derogatory statements the killer made about Miranda's Dominican heritage; however, police are still searching for answers.

    State police have turned over surveillance video to New England's Unsolved in hopes of getting those answers.

    The images capture the chaotic moments immediately after Miranda was killed on a Lawrence sidewalk in front of a food truck.

    According to authorities, Miranda and his friends spent the evening at a nightclub in Lawrence and wrapped up their night at the food truck. There were about a dozen people in the area when an argument started and escalated.

    Shots rang out and three people can be seen running to a vehicle, potentially a Lincoln. It appears one of the people in the video had a severe limp.

    "It is critical that we can establish who they are, and have the opportunity to interview them," Jonathan Blodgett, Essex County District Attorney, told FOX 25's Bob Ward.

    Blodgett did not call the people in the video suspects, but rather people of interest.

    Miranda's family was shocked to learn of his death.

    "Everybody keeps saying the same thing. He's loving, fun, very respectful, not a trouble maker. I keep hearing the same story all the time," Stephany Miranda, the victim's younger sister, said. "I never expected this to happen. My brother wasn't in gangs."

    Police do not believe that Miranda knew his killer.

    "From multiple people, I've heard it was a racist argument. The guy who shot my brother was actually, verbally saying inappropriate things about Dominicans," Stephany Miranda said.

    Miranda's family hopes the video will be their key to justice.

    Anyone with information regarding the murder or the surveillance video is asked to contact Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Essex County District Attorney's Office at 978-745-8908. 

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