The victim of an early Sunday morning shooting in Chelsea was leaving an erotica book release party when a dispute with several others in attendance turned violent.

Robert Lowman, 44, was shot six times in the chest, abdomen, and groin shortly after leaving the release party for She's Dickmatized, an erotic novella by Tania Marie about a millionaire who worries her new lover is a con artist. Lowman left the party at the Auxiliary event space at 150 West 22nd Street around 1 a.m. Lowman's sister told the Daily News that her brother and his assailants were all at the reading and knew the author's family.

A man who lives in the area told the Post that he heard Lowman arguing with the shooters as they left the party.

"They had on leather jackets and gaudy jewelry, one man had on a black shirt with a white skull on it," the witness told the tabloid. "There was clearly an issue among them, but after some time they were able to smooth some things out. I actually saw them hugging each other." But their reconciliation appears to have been short-lived: Lowman was soon shot several times.

Lowman's sister told the News that the shooting likely involved a dispute "from a long time ago."

A team of plainclothes police officers in the area heard the shots ring out and saw a man run from the direction the shots came from and towards a black Mercedes-Benz sedan that was double-parked. The driver of the Mercedes drove through several red lights while being pursued by police before the getaway car came to a sudden stop and was rear-ended by the police car on 19th Street near Park Avenue.

Police swarmed the vehicle and arrested the three men: Ramel Harkless, 38, was charged with assault, criminal use of firearm and criminal possession of a weapon; Joseph Saunders, 43, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon; and Barry Wiles, 46, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment. Police found a handgun in the car.

Lowman was taken to Bellevue Hospital for surgery. He is listed in critical but stable condition.