LEWISTON — After reports of gunfire and a downtown foot chase Tuesday night, a transient who has been staying at various locations in Lewiston was taken into police custody, according to authorities.
Police found Kaya Simions, 22, hiding in the basement of the Muslim mosque on Lisbon Street. As of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, he had not been charged with a crime.
Lewiston police Lt. Michael McGonagle said Simions had no affiliation with the mosque.
McGonagle said the incident started shortly after 8:30 p.m. when someone called to report loud noises, possibly gunfire, at 127 Oak St. McGonagle said the report came in of a man, who possibly shot a gun into the air, but said it was unclear as of late Tuesday night why the man may have fired the weapon.
McGonagle said officers arrived within minutes and a foot chase ensued that led police down Oak, Blake and Park streets to Lisbon Street, where the man ran into the Muslim mosque on Lisbon Street. Police found him shortly thereafter in the basement.
"He just randomly came in and ran downstairs. I've never seen him before," said Dayib Noor, who was in the mosque for services when the man entered. Noor said he followed the man downstairs to the basement and asked what he was doing there.
"He couldn't say a word," Noor said. "Not a word came out of his mouth. He was scared."
McGonagle said officers located articles of clothing scattered throughout the route of the foot pursuit, and a small-caliber handgun hidden in bushes near St. Joseph's Church on Main Street.
"We think he might have just seen people in there and figured it would be a good place to hide," McGonagle said. He said the case was under investigation late Tuesday night.