Man charged in Matinicus lobsterman shooting

Posted July 20, 2009, at 1:39 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:03 p.m.

MATINICUS, Maine — Police arrested a 68-year-old lobsterman Monday afternoon in connection with the shooting of a fellow lobsterman on an island dock.

Police say that lobster fishing was at the heart of the dispute between the two Matinicus Islanders.

Chris Young, 41, was shot Monday morning as a Maine Marine Patrol officer was investigating a dispute with fellow fisherman Vance Bunker, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

A .22-caliber handgun was seized from Bunker, McCausland said. He said Young was not armed.

Young initially was airlifted off the island to Knox County Airport in Owls Head by Penobscot Air Service and then was transferred to LifeFlight and flown to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

McCausland said that Young underwent surgery shortly after arrival at the hospital and that his wound did not appear to be life-threatening.

Young remained in the hospital Monday night, where McCausland said he was listed in stable condition.

McCausland said that the marine patrol officer, whose name was not immediately available, called for assistance after the shooting and placed Bunker in custody.

A Knox County sheriff’s deputy who was on the island arrived on the scene and later was joined by other deputies and six state police detectives.

After officers consulted with the District Attorney’s Office, Vance Bunker was arrested and charged with elevated aggravated assault, McCausland said.

Bunker was taken by boat to Knox County Jail in Rockland, where Sgt. Marcia Clark said he was being held on bail of $50,000 cash or $125,000 surety.

Matinicus Island is a lobster fishing community located about 20 miles southeast of Rockland.

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