Shooting leads to brawl, witnesses say, as violence continues in Lewiston

Derrick St. Laurent from the Criminal Investigations Division of the Lewiston Police Department marks a pair of sandals that witnesses say were worn by a man who shot in the air and at others running from a confrontation on Horton Street Friday night between Pine and Walnut streets. Several people were taken into custody at the scene and on Sabattus Street in a vehicle seen fleeing from the scene. The other markers on the ground are for bullet casings.
Russ Dillingham | Sun Journal
Derrick St. Laurent from the Criminal Investigations Division of the Lewiston Police Department marks a pair of sandals that witnesses say were worn by a man who shot in the air and at others running from a confrontation on Horton Street Friday night between Pine and Walnut streets. Several people were taken into custody at the scene and on Sabattus Street in a vehicle seen fleeing from the scene. The other markers on the ground are for bullet casings.
Posted May 25, 2012, at 8:27 p.m.
Last modified May 26, 2012, at 6:32 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — More shots were fired downtown Friday and witnesses said it came to a halt only when a machine-gun-style weapon jammed and the shooter fled.

It happened on Horton Street at about 5:30 p.m. Witnesses said several shots — possibly more than a dozen — were fired by a man who stood in the street, firing first in the air and then at a group of people who were running away.

It was believed nobody was struck.

One man who lives in an apartment near the scene said a fight between two groups of people led to the shots. One group of men had jumped a smaller group, he said, and then an all-out brawl began in the street.

Soon after, a tall, skinny man pulled out a Mac-10 and fired into the air, a witness said.

“He just fired over and over straight up in the air,” said Bryan Morin, who witnessed the fight. “Then he brought the gun down and started firing down the street.”

After the gun jammed, the shooter fled on foot, witnesses said, leaving his sandals behind in the street. One woman said she watched him scale a fence in his bare feet as he fled.

Several police officers arrived and found the gun at the scene. They also began searching for a car that was seen speeding away from the area.

Minutes later, a police officer located the car, a blue Dodge Charger, and followed it into the parking lot at Elizabeth Ann, a convenience store on Sabattus Street.

“Officer Brian Beauparlant came right in behind the car and he got them out of there at gunpoint,” a store clerk said.

Two men were removed from the car and taken into custody, police said. Another man was found back in the area of Horton Street and was also taken to the police station.

On Horton Street, it was chaos in the minutes following the shooting. More than a hundred people watched from sidewalks, from windows and front porches as police sorted out the scene.

It was the third shooting incident in a week in downtown Lewiston.

“Auburn is looking better and better all the time,” one woman said.

Police were questioning the suspects as well as several witnesses and could not say exactly what motivated the fight and subsequent shots.

A detective was examining the shooting scene and gathering evidence an hour after the shots were fired.

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