June 19, 2018
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Bangor teen charged in fatal shooting

By Nok-Noi Ricker and Dawn Gagnon, Special to the BDN

BANGOR — The 19-year-old man who was gunned down on Cumberland Street on Wednesday night died from his injuries late Thursday, and an 18-year-old man accused of killing him was arrested Friday afternoon.

The victim, John “Bobby” Surles of Bangor, died in a hospital at 11:08 p.m. Thursday, police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Friday.

An autopsy conducted at the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta indicated that Surles died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, police Lt. Tim Reid said.

The man accused of the shooting, Zachary R. Carr of Bangor, was arrested Friday and charged with knowing or intentional murder, Reid said.

Carr turned himself in at the Bangor police station at 3 p.m., Reid said during a news conference about an hour after the arrest.

Carr was taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.

Carr, of 57 Cumberland St., is accused of shooting Surles shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday during a fight involving six to 12 teens and young adults in the street in front of nearby 57 Cumberland St.

After the shooting, several people fled on foot, and police have spent the past two days interviewing witnesses and searching for others who may have been involved or knew something about the case.

Reid said that the investigation has been turned over to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said Carr is expected to make an initial appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor on Monday.

Though they have been tight-lipped about the case, police do not believe Wednesday’s shooting was a random act.

“We do believe there is some relationship” between the suspect and victim, Edwards said on Thursday.

Court listings in the Bangor Daily News archives indicate that Surles had been convicted of a couple of minor offenses, including theft and possession of alcohol by a minor.

A search of state records Friday turned up no criminal history for Carr.

On Friday, Reid declined to comment on the kind of gun used in the shooting, whether the firearm was recovered, or how the victim and the suspect were connected to each other.

He also declined to divulge details about the dispute that led to the shooting or whether others might be arrested or charged in connection with the shooting. He said any other information about the case would be available in affidavits expected to be released next week.

Reid did, however, confirm that the suspect has no known connection to David Carr, the Garland Street resident who happened upon the shooting on Wednesday and who comforted Surles and prayed with him until an ambulance arrived.

The Bangor Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division has been working closely with the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office, and now is working with the Attorney General’s Office, Reid said.

“It’s the state’s first homicide of the year,” Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Friday.

Surles’ MySpace page is private but has four photos and a short blurb: “I/m BOBBY… i cant wait to skate, winter suckz. i dont like alot of people.. i stick to myself, always in the way. i prefer night then day’ cuddling over sex, milk before soda, broz before hoes, weed over cigs, shower before baths, blunts before bongs, boxers over briefs. want to know more talk to me…”

One of the posted photos shows Surles jumping the steps at One Merchant Plaza in Bangor on his skateboard.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call the Bangor Police Department at 947-7382. The anonymous tip line is ext. 6.

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