ELLSWORTH, Maine — A manhunt in Ellsworth for a man who police say is suspected of firing a gun Sunday evening outside a local apartment complex at a vehicle with two people inside has resulted in the schools being closed Monday morning.
In a statement released Sunday evening, Ellsworth police identified the suspect as Aaron Wagner, 41. He is 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighs an estimated 175 pounds, with blue eyes and blond hair and was last seen wearing a yellow jacket, dark jeans and red muck boots.
A rear window of the vehicle was shot out in the incident, which occurred around 6 p.m. outside Deane Street Apartments, but no one was injured, according to police. Wagner was outside the apartment building standing near a dumpster when he allegedly fired at the rear of the vehicle.
Wagner and both men who were in the sport-utility vehicle all are residents of the apartment complex, Ellsworth police Chief Harold “Pete” Bickmore said Monday.
Bickmore said Wagner fled the apartment complex on foot and, about two hours later, was spotted by an off-duty police officer near the intersection of Route 1A and Christian Ridge Road. Wagner again was spotted around 11:30 p.m. in the area near George May Way and around 7:30 a.m. Monday along Bucksport Road near Springer’s Gymnastics, he said.
He said that approximately 30 law enforcement officers from various agencies, including some canine units, were out Monday morning looking for Wagner.
“We want him off the streets,” Bickmore said.
The chief said that Wagner is believed to still have the firearm, details of which he did not provide. He declined to comment on what sort of circumstances may have led to the shooting.
Dan Higgins, superintendent of the city’s school system, said Monday morning that there has been no threat made, either directly or indirectly, that has raised concern about safety at the city’s schools.
Higgins said the decision to not open schools Monday is purely precautionary. He said it is likely that many parents were unaware of the situation when they awoke Monday morning, and that city officials do not want students — especially those who live in the vicinity of Christian Ridge or Bucksport roads — waiting by the side of the road for school buses or walking to schools until the situation is resolved.
Wagner is wanted on class C felony charges of reckless conduct with a firearm and aggravated criminal mischief, according to police. Anyone who may see Wagner or learn of his location is asked to contact police immediately by calling 911.