May 23, 2018
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Man, 22, shot inside Vassalboro house during birthday party

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

VASSALBORO, Maine — A 22-year-old man was shot and wounded inside a house on Whitehouse Road early Tuesday morning and the homeowner was arrested, though not charged with the shooting, Maine State Police said.

The victim, Rafael Encarnacion of the Bronx, N.Y., was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, said state police Lt. Christopher Coleman. Encarnacion underwent surgery for a gunshot wound that is not considered life-threatening, Coleman said.

Joseph L. Gagnon, 55, who owns the house where the shooting occurred, turned himself in to Hallowell police Tuesday and was charged with violating bail conditions that forbade him from being at the house, according to Coleman. He said Gagnon probably will appear in court Wednesday to answer the bail violation charge.

Gagnon has not yet been charged in the shooting, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Coleman said Gagnon apparently was having a birthday party at the house before the shooting occurred. The lieutenant said Gagnon got into an argument with Encarnacion and shot him. Another person at the party, which was attended by six people, called police.

“The victim stopped by the party. He showed up with his girlfriend,” said Coleman. “An argument ensued shortly after he arrived. The homeowner [Gagnon] shot him in the abdomen. After the shooting, the homeowner left the scene and turned himself into Hallowell PD.”

Coleman said he believed Gagnon called Hallowell police from a relative’s house and police picked him up.

Gagnon was arrested for violating bail because he wasn’t supposed to be at the house, Coleman said.

Encarnacion received medical care before being flown by LifeFlight to CMMC.

“We don’t believe his injuries are life-threatening. We believe he will survive,” said Coleman.

Coleman wouldn’t release any other details about the shooting.

“The shooting itself, the underlying circumstance, we’re still trying to uncover,” said Coleman. “We haven’t gotten to a point yet where we’ve made any conclusions. I suspect after our investigation we’ll hand it over to the District Attorney’s Office.”

Gagnon’s girlfriend, Jaimee Laney, 33, who also lives at the Whitehouse Road residence, was arrested for failing to appear in court, McCausland said in a press release.

Police were called to the house at 38 Whitehouse Road at 12:30 a.m.

McCausland said a team of 15 detectives and sheriff’s deputies were investigating the shooting.

Watch for updates.

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