LEWISTON — Police shot a man in Kennedy Park on Friday night after he was reportedly involved in a domestic dispute on Knox Street.
The suspect, 20-year-old local man Albert Crowley, was said to be conscious and alert as he was taken to Central Maine Medical Center. Early reports were that he was struck at least four times after three police officers fired roughly a dozen shots at about 8:20 p.m.
Police said Crowley had pulled out a gun as they approached him in the park.
A woman who had been leaving a meeting near the park said she heard police repeatedly telling the suspect to show them his hands.
“They kept saying, ‘Show us your hands! Show us your hands!’ They said it repeatedly,” the woman said. She did not want to be identified. “I heard one officer tell another to tase the man. Then I heard, ‘Gun! Gun! He’s got a gun!’ and they opened fire. I really don’t think they wanted to shoot him.”
Like others, the woman said she took cover as more than 10 shots rang out.
“I just hit the grass right over here,” she said, near the corner of Bates and Walnut streets. “I’ve never been that close to shots being fired. I was so scared.”
The shooting occurred near the center of the park, a short distance from Bates Street.
The gunfire rattled the downtown, causing pedestrians and office workers alike to dive for cover.
One man said he was just coming out of the park, about to step onto Bates Street, when gunfire exploded nearby.
“There were about 10 shots,” the man said. “At least 10. Probably more like 15. I had to duck down behind something because I didn’t know which way the bullets were flying.”
That man also did not want his name used. As he was speaking, a third man came wandering up Bates Street, a cellphone pressed to his ear.
“I never heard so many damn shots at once in my life,” he said.
As a crowd gathered at the edge of the park, police began to cordon off the area where the shooting had occurred. The victim was loaded onto a gurney and taken by ambulance to CMMC. His eyes were closed and he remained motionless as he was loaded into the ambulance.
Police in Auburn were called to assist with the investigation, which was still getting underway at 9 p.m. The Attorney General’s Office sent an officer to Lewiston to begin their investigation, as is required in all police shootings.
Early reports that the man had robbed a store were erroneous, police said. Shortly after 8 p.m., dispatchers received a call from a woman who reported that she had fought with Crowley who had since left her apartment.
“As the officers responded, we learned that the suspect might be armed,” said Lewiston police Chief Michael Bussiere.
He identified the officers involved in the shooting as Cpl. Michael Dumond, a 13-year veteran; Brian Bourgoin, a five-year veteran; and Zachary Provost, who has been with the force two years.
According to the woman who witnessed the shooting, police had instructed the victim to display his hands several times before shots rang out.
“They were very clear in their demands,” she said. “He just would not comply.”
At the Sun Journal, roughly 150 yards from the scene of the shooting, several editors and page designers dropped to the floor when the shooting began.
“We took cover,” said one copy editor. “It sounded so close.”
Photographer Daryn Slover was among those working in the newsroom when the sound of gunfire filled the night.
“It was just bam, bam, bam,” he said. “It was crazy.”
While the Attorney General’s Office investigates the shooting, Bussiere said the Lewiston department’s Criminal Investigation Division will investigate the original domestic violence complaint.