Shooting victim in serious condition

Posted May 26, 2010, at 8:59 p.m.

INDIAN ISLAND, Maine — Family members of Mitchell King say he is out of intensive care, but remains at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor recovering from a gunshot wound to his face that happened early Tuesday morning.

“I know it was a pretty horrible thing to happen,” King’s uncle, Dana Mitchell, said on Wednesday evening. “To me, I’m not convinced it’s an accident.”

King, 35, was listed in critical condition on Tuesday and had improved and was listed in serious condition on Wednesday, an EMMC nursing supervisor reported.

Penobscot Indian Nation police are investigating the shooting at a residence on Oak Hill Road, which was reported to them at about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday by someone at the mobile home, Police Chief Robert Bryant said Tuesday.

Tribal and Old Town police arrived at the residence King was visiting when shot. Bryant would give no additional details about the shooting on Tuesday and did not return repeated messages left for him on Wednesday.

Penobscot Indian Nation Chief Kirk Francis said Wednesday that police were continuing their investigation and he referred any further questions to the police chief.

King was shot “in the jaw,” his uncle said Wednesday, adding that he was told the weapon was a 357-caliber handgun.

“I can’t verify that,” Mitchell said. “It was just lucky it didn’t hit an inch different.”

Another relative, who did not want to be named, said the bullet “blew his chin apart. He lost all of his teeth and has metal plates now.”

The relative said King is communicating by writing.

Like any small community, there are a lot of rumors circulating about what happened, the uncle said without elaborating.

The man who may have witnessed the shooting lives at the Oak Hill residence, he said.

King has a son and his mother is a counselor at the island’s clinic, Mitchell said. She had spent much of the last day at the hospital with her son, he said.

King states on his Facebook online social networking page that he treasures his relationship with his son.

“i love my son to much for words and beyond human understanding/comprehension,” he wrote.

He also wrote, “i am a very easy going guy” and he posted “do unto others as you want them to do unto you,” as one of his favorite sayings.

Pictures posted show a brawny-looking man with a tribal tattoo around his left wrist and the words “Jesus” and “Christ” on his forearms.

“This event is going to change his life, for sure,” his uncle said, adding that “he lives in a community” that will support him in the tough days to come.

“He’s one of our own,” Mitchell said.

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