June 24, 2018
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Mass. man arrested in shooting of his children’s mother, companion in New Gloucester

By Sun Journal, Special to the BDN

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine — A Massachusetts man fatally shot the mother of their four children and gravely wounded her companion before leading police on a chase that ended 50 miles away in Lyman, officials said Tuesday.

Joel Hayden, 29, of New Bedford, Mass., was arrested at gunpoint around 9 p.m. Monday after crashing his Cadillac, police said. He was under police guard in a Portland hospital.

There’s a history of domestic violence between Hayden and Renee Sandora, 27, of New Gloucester, who died from her injuries Tuesday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, said Stephen McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety. The other victim, Trevor Mills, 28, of New Bedford, Mass., remained in grave condition at the hospital.

Jim Hutchinson, who operates a sheet metal shop down the road from the scene of the shooting, told the Sun Journal that he heard three shots, followed by a conversation in which a girl said “He didn’t do anything” before three more shots rang out.

The young children, including 3-month-old twins, were placed in the custody of grandparents, McCausland said.

The incident unfolded Monday night when police responded to the shooting at a mobile home in New Gloucester. Unsure what they were dealing with, heavily armed state troopers in body armor surrounded the home before securing the site, the newspaper reported.

Hayden, who led police on a chase from Saco to Lyman, was the only suspect but wasn’t immediately charged in the shooting, McCausland said.

Hayden was arrested by state police and other law enforcement officers in the parking lot of Hog Heaven, a bar near the intersection of Routes 5 and 202 in Lyman, late Monday evening, McCausland said.

The chase from Saco to Lyman ended after Hayden’s Cadillac left the road and hit a culvert, damaging the car. Hayden suffered back injuries and was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he was placed under police guard, McCausland said.

The Sun Journal contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had the wrong last name of the victim who died at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on Tuesday. The woman's name is Renee Sandora, not Sanora.

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