Police probe fatal shooting of Belfast man

By Walter Griffin,
Posted Dec. 09, 2008, at 8:21 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — State and local police converged on a High Street home after a male occupant was shot to death there Tuesday morning.

Police said a woman was being questioned in connection with the shooting and a weapon was recovered.

Investigators were expected to remain at the home overnight.

Maine State Police Lt. Gary Wright declined to identify the 29-year-old victim, saying only that more police work needed to be done to determine exactly what happened in the home.

“It’s very early in the investigation,” Wright said after having been at the scene for approximately four hours.

Wright said Belfast police rushed to 346 High St. after the Waldo County Communications Center received a 911 call at 11:21 a.m. reporting a shooting.

Wright declined to identify who was being questioned but acknowledged that family members of the victim had been at the residence. He declined to comment whether those family members were involved or were witnesses to the shooting.

“We are in contact with them,” he said of the family. “We’re trying to develop the information they may have to help us.”

Wright said police would have a better idea of what happened Wednesday and would release the name of the victim at that time. Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state police, said later that the victim wasn’t being identified because police were having difficulty reaching the man’s relatives, who live out of state.

At one point during the day more than a dozen police vehicles were parked in the street in front of the house, which along with the house next door, was marked off with yellow crime scene tape.

Traffic on that section of High Street was detoured during the early phase of the investigation. The state police mobile crime lab arrived at the house in midafternoon. A medical examiner arrived just before sunset.

The call reporting the shooting was made from the home of a neighbor and detectives could be seen entering and leaving that residence throughout the afternoon. At approximately 4:30 p.m. two detectives were observed escorting a woman and a young girl from that house. They placed the woman and girl in an unmarked cruiser and drove off. McCausland said late Tuesday night that the woman had been released after being questioned. He also said the body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Augusta where an autopsy would be conducted Wednesday.

The crime scene is a short walk from Belfast Variety, and store employees described the female occupant of the home as a pleasant woman who was always very polite.

“She’s so quiet and nice and she’s very polite,” Leslie Holland said.

John DeGraff, who works in the store’s hardware section, said the family purchased the house about a year ago and had done extensive renovations. He said the woman made frequent purchases during that period.

“She is the nicest lady I ever met,” DeGraff said. “They bought a lot of supplies and they put a lot of work into that house.”

At 5 p.m. crime scene investigators still were processing the yard and driveway and had yet to enter the house. Lt. Wright said he expected investigators to remain there most of the night. He said the home was secured and would remain under guard until the technicians completed their investigation.

“We’ll be here all night,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/12/09/news/police-probe-fatal-shooting-of-belfast-man/ printed on July 31, 2014