East Palo Alto's third shooting in five days sent a 49-year-old Menlo Park man to the hospital Sunday with multiple gunshot wounds, according to police.

East Palo Alto police were alerted to the crime at about 8:16 p.m. through the city's ShotSpotter detection system, which reported gunshots on the 2200 block of Addison Avenue, according to a news release prepared by Detective John Norden. Responding officers found the victim, who had been shot numerous times.

The initial investigation suggests that the victim was sitting inside a parked vehicle when one or more suspects walked up and shot him, then fled immediately, according to Norden. The victim was taken to the hospital to be treated and as of Monday was in stable condition, said police Chief Ron Davis.

Davis said police are investigating whether Sunday's violence was connected to two Wednesday night shootings in East Palo Alto -- one on Tulane Avenue that injured a 28-year-old Daly City man and another on Farrington Way that pierced a 26-year-old East Palo Alto man's leg.

"It is too early to determine if they are related, but we are looking to see whether those connections exist," Davis said in an email Monday. "I will state, however, that we are experiencing an increase in gang-related shootings, and believe many of these are connected to violence occurring throughout the area."

Davis said he was not suggesting that the victim in Sunday night's shooting was a gang member.

More information about how the East Palo Alto Police Department is responding to the surge in violence should be released today, the chief said.

The city also is launching a new initiative with the University of California at Berkeley, funded through a $300,000 federal grant, that will use data from the ShotSpotter system to identify areas where the most shots are fired, define strategies to prevent future shootings, and monitor whether those tactics are effective, Davis said.

Email Bonnie Eslinger at beslinger@dailynewsgroup.com; follow her at twitter.com/ bonnieeslinger.