AUBURN, Maine — An apartment house was struck by gunfire Wednesday night and police on both sides of the Androscoggin River were searching for suspects.
Witnesses said the 14 Newbury St. building was hit several times when someone opened fire from the street at about 8:30 p.m. The front of the building, a 2½-story apartment house, was pocked by bullet holes and several windows were broken out.
Neighbors said a woman in her late 20s lives in the house with several children. It was believed the woman was at home when shots rang out, but it was unclear how many children were inside.
“People are coming and going from that house at all hours,” said one woman who lives nearby. She didn’t hear the shots, but several people who live along Newbury Street and Laurel Avenue did.
“I was in my living room,” said one man who lives nearby. “I heard, ‘Pop, pop, pop.’ It wasn’t a small gun, I’ll tell you that much.”
Several officers responded and blocked off the end of Newbury Street to traffic. Early reports included an SUV seen racing from the scene, and a description of that vehicle was sent to officers in Lewiston and Auburn.
Another woman said a lone man was seen walking from 14 Newbury St. seconds after the shots were fired. He climbed into a car and drove away before police arrived, she said.
By 9:30 p.m., the lower end of Newbury Street, near The Big Apple, was cordoned off with crime-scene tape. Several officers were searching the streets and sidewalks for spent shell casings. Other officers took photos of the bullet-riddled house as the investigation got underway.
While police remained in the first-floor apartment, speaking with the occupants, the upper floors appeared dark.
In Lewiston, police were sent to the area of Oxford and Lincoln streets in case suspects either drove into the city or crossed the footbridge. The search for the suspects continued later Wednesday night.