Police say man shoots own leg, claims drive-by

Posted Nov. 30, 2009, at 9:02 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — A reported drive-by shooting Sunday in Newport turned out to be a self-inflicted accident and a case of three people telling the same lie, according to police. The incident started at 9:10 p.m. with a 911 call from a woman at 34 Sand Road who claimed her roommate had been shot by someone driving past the residence in a pickup truck.

When police arrived, led by Newport Sgt. Sanger Davis, they found Scott Bullard, 21, suffering from a gunshot wound to his thigh. Bullard and the home’s other two residents, Albert Ingerson, 26, and Michelle Thompson, 20, repeated the story about the drive-by shooting, according to Newport Lt. Randy Wing. Bullard told the responding officers he had just smoked a cigarette on the front porch and was tying his sneaker when a shot was fired from a passing pickup truck.

The residence is a mobile home near the end of a short dead-end road just before a loop that reverses the direction of traffic. No one at the residence answered the door Monday afternoon nor did anyone return a call seeking comment.

Wing said law enforcement officers began to converge on the scene, including himself, Newport Patrol Officer Chris McCrillis and State Trooper Brenda Coolen, but concern about a gunman driving around Newport quickly subsided. After Bullard was taken to Sebasticook Valley Hospital the story began to unravel. Wing said inconsistencies began to crop up in the three versions of the story being told police, particularly regarding the description of the supposed pickup.

Bullard, Ingerson and Thompson later admitted that a Jennings 9 mm handgun went off inside the house. Bullard had the loaded gun tucked into his waistband while watching television, according to Wing.

The handgun, which was confiscated by police, was found to have a defective safety, Wing said.

No charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon, but Wing said that after the investigation is complete, he plans to charge all three residents with filing a false public alarm or report. Such a charge is a Class D crime punishable by less than one year in jail and a fine up to $2,000.

Bullard moved to Maine from Florida approximately four months ago and has been living with Ingerson and Thompson recently, Wing said. Bullard was lucky, he said, that the bullet, which went through the leg, didn’t hit bone or his femoral artery, either of which could have been fatal.

Police discovered that Ingerson had an outstanding warrant for an unpaid fine in Somerset County and arrested him. An officer at Somerset County Jail said Ingerson was released Monday after having set up a payment arrangement for the fine.

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