BANGOR, Maine — City police are investigating the shooting Wednesday evening of a 19-year-old man in the road on Cumberland Street.
The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, according to Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards, the Police Department’s public information officer.
No information about the victim’s medical condition was available at press time. Edwards said the victim is believed to be a former Bangor resident who is considered a transient.
The shooting, which appears to have been prompted by an altercation involving several teens and young adults, took place at about 6 p.m. in front of a house at 57 Cumberland St., Edwards said during a brief news conference near the crime scene.
Edwards said that after the shooting, several people fled that area on foot. He also said there were several witnesses to the incident and that police were still trying to identify a suspect late Wednesday.
Though police released few details about the shooting, a Bangor resident who heard the shooting and was among the first to arrive on the scene recounted what he saw.
Garland Street resident David Carr said he had just left the post office on nearby Harlow Street and was driving home when he heard a group of young people “hollering” on Cumberland Street.
The group, he said, appeared to be involved in some kind of argument or fight.
“Then I heard a gunshot. At first I thought it was an M80 [a type of firecracker] but then I saw a young man running down Cumberland Street. He was holding his stomach. Then I heard his sister hollering, ‘My brother’s been shot!’”
Carr said that he stopped to help the young man and that when he lifted up the victim’s shirt he saw that “his stomach was covered in blood. I covered him up and said a prayer, ‘Please, God, don’t let him die.’”
Police and an ambulance soon arrived, and the victim was taken to the hospital.
During the evening, police officers collected evidence along the section of Cumberland Street that runs from Center Street to Market Street. Barricades and crime scene tape surrounded the area. Shortly before midnight, Edwards said the area would remain closed to traffic as detectives continued to process the scene.
He said several witnesses already had been interviewed and that more would be “as the night progresses. No one has been charged as of yet.”
Edwards said the shooting does not appear to be a random act.
“I think there’s some relationship here” between the victim and the shooter, he said.
The only description Edwards was able to provide as of Wednesday evening was that the suspect was male and that he was wearing dark clothing.
Word of the shooting spread quickly through the city. Among those who stopped by the crime scene were a Bangor mother who said the victim was her son’s friend and that those she had heard were behind the shooting had been harassing the victim and her son for some time now.
Others also expressed their concern.
“There are a lot of kids in this neighborhood, said Amy Gardner of South Park Street, who said she often takes care of her nephews who are in kindergarten through fourth grade.
“As parents, it’s scary. It hits close to home,” said Fred Littlefield, who was there with his wife, Jennifer.
Edwards declined to comment on whether police believed the shooting to be gang-related, as some bystanders speculated at the scene.
Among the assets the department used during the investigation launched Wednesday night were detectives and patrol officers, tracking dogs and the department’s mobile crime unit, Edwards said.
Anyone with information about the incident should call the Police Department at 947-7382. Enter Ext. 6 to leave a message on the tip line.