Police have arrested one North Carolina man and seek another in connection with a homicide in Millinocket last week, a Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman said.
Christopher Murray, 38, was arrested Wednesday in Maxton, North Carolina. Police also are looking for 43-year-old Tony Locklear, who is believed to be in the Maxton area, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Public Safety Department.
Murray is being held as a fugitive from justice. He and Locklear will face murder charges upon return to Maine, McCausland said.
Murray and Locklear are suspects in the shooting of Wayne Lapierre, a well-known Millinocket businessman, who died around 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, McCausland has said.
Lapierre’s wife, Diem Lapierre, 33, was also injured in the Dec. 19 incident.
Robeson County Sheriff’s Office deputies worked with five Maine State Police detectives who arrived in North Carolina in search of the suspects on Wednesday, McCausland said.
He said he had no details on what specifically linked the suspects to the crime.
Wayne Lapierre was known as a hard worker and also for being very friendly, friends and neighbors said.
“You say Wayne Lapierre and it brings a smile to your face,” said Kristi Davis, who works at a local glass company where Lapierre was her landlord.
“You name it and his hand was in it, so for the community, this was hugely devastating,” she said after the news of his death, noting how Lapierre had a special status during the winter because his snow removal business clears most of the town’s roads.
Lapierre and his wife were hospitalized with “life threatening” injuries following a Dec. 19 shooting at their Millinocket home.
The shooting stems from an incident that reportedly took place on Massachusetts Avenue in Millinocket around 8 p.m. on Dec. 19. Millinocket police, state police and Penobscot County Sheriff‘s deputies responded to the scene.
After initially receiving the two emergency room patients, Millinocket Regional Hospital was put on partial lockdown in the immediate aftermath of the crime.
After the lockdown was lifted, hospital officials called it a precautionary measure.
The couple were later taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center.
The killing is the most high-profile violent crime to roil the small Katahdin region town since October 2016, when a man nearly died after his throat was slashed during an attack inside his home.
BDN Writer Jake Bleiberg contributed to this report.
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