LEWISTON – A standoff that began before dawn Wednesday ended early Thursday after the suspect was found dead inside the building he had holed up in.

Police have not yet identified the suspect but said both Lewiston Police and State Police spokesmen said the man shot himself in the head.

“The (tactical) team entered a little before 1 a.m. and found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Stephen McCausland said.

Prior to the entry the State Police Tactical Team did fire several tear gas canisters into the building, McCausland said.

He said it was still unknown whether any rounds were fired by police and initial reports show the suspect did not fire any rounds at police.

Lt. Mark Cornelio, spokesman for the Lewiston Police Dept., confirmed that the suspect, who was identified by neighbors as Daniel Bussiere, had been found dead with an apparent self-inflicted wound to the head by State Police after they entered the building at 161 Holland Street shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday.

Thursday morning several windows in the building were broken, from what appears to be tear gas canisters. The door to the suspect’s first-floor apartment at 163 Holland Street was covered with a plywood sheet.

What sounded like 20 shots were heard at about 6:50 p.m., though police did not confirm whether the volley was gun fire or tear gas at the time.

The shots prompted neighbors, who had been evacuated from their homes hours earlier, to hustle their children to cover as the shots first rang out.

A police tactical team continued to watch the downtown building, where the man had been holed up since around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

An hour later, a State Police negotiator pleaded with the suspect to surrender. “We’re here to help you,” the negotiator said. “You can help us by coming out the front door with your hands up.”

According to witnesses at the scene, the man in the apartment is 49-year-old Daniel Bussiere. Police were seen entering the building around 9:15 a.m. A police negotiator had been able to talk with him via phone for about a half-hour before the two were disconnected. That negotiator was heard just after 11 a.m. pleading with Bussiere to call back so they could continue talking

Bussiere’s rap sheet showed an assault conviction stemming from a 1996 charge, according to Maine State Bureau of Identification records. He was sentenced to one month at Androscoggin County Jail, which was suspended. He also was given six months of probation.

Around 100 people, mostly neighbors, were near the scene, watching as the standoff entered its 16th hour.

By the time it entered its 18th hour, some people in the neighborhood were arguing with each other, and fights broke out. One man, frustrated that his family was unable to return to their home, attempted to storm the building where the man was holed up. Other neighbors stopped him and calmed him down.

Through it all, negotiations at the scene of the standoff continued.

“We know that you may be scared,” the negotiator told the suspect around 8 p.m. “Nobody out here wants to hurt you. If you come out, we can hear your side of the story and get you the help you need. You have the power.”

Police had been trying to talk to Bussiere with a loudspeaker and were calling him by the name “Dan.” A State Police tactical vehicle was parked at the front of the building as police negotiated with the suspect. It appeared the police had the first-floor apartment unit, where Bussiere lives, surrounded.

Negotiators were urging Bussiere to pick up a cell phone and talk. “We know it’s been a long night,” a police negotiator was heard saying.

According to Lewiston police, a search warrant was issued in the afternoon for weapons that Bussiere may have in his apartment, including a 30-30 Savage rifle. Although engaging police in a standoff is a criminal violation, police do expect to charge Bussiere with criminal threatening.

Sidney Lord, who lives in a building near the scene of the standoff, said the trouble started at about 5 a.m. when Bussiere threatened and assaulted his son with a handgun near 7-Eleven, a short distance away. He said that incident followed weeks of confrontation between Bussiere and other neighbors.

“This man pulled a gun on my son and slammed it into his head as hard as he could,” Lord said. “We’ve had problems with him for three or four months.”

Lord’s son Justin, 21, was dazed but not seriously hurt. Justin said he believed the weapon with which he was struck was a black and silver .357 magnum revolver. He said he could see hollow-point bullets in the revolver portion of the handgun as it was pointed at him.

After the alleged assault, Bussiere retreated into his apartment. A short time later, police were on the scene and the standoff began.

Sidney Lord said Bussiere had punched his wife in recent days, escalating the tension around the Oak Street neighborhood. Police were called to Bussiere’s building on Tuesday.

Throughout the ordeal on Wednesday, local and State Police attempted to communicate with Bussiere. They did not say if Bussiere responded.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said “we have opened up a line of communication with the man, and state police negotiators have been talking to him throughout the morning over the phone. Our goal is to conclude this in a safe and peaceful manner.”

As of 10 a.m. a two-block area from College Street to Main had been cordoned off by police. Police also evacuated some people from their homes on a section of Oak Street from Elm Street to Prescott Street.

For an entire day, neighbors who had been hustled out of their homes stood at Elm and Towle streets, trying to figure out how things had gotten so ugly so quickly.

According to Deborah Brown, Justin Lord’s mother, she had a confrontation with Bussiere several days ago after he called her a profane name. She slapped his face, she said, and he then punched her in the head. Brown said she reported the incident to police, who did go to Bussiere’s apartment to speak with him.

According to neighbors, Bussiere has a history of confrontations with them and police were at Bussiere’s apartment several times Tuesday after various neighbors complained about him acting out.

Tracy Robbins of Livermore, who visits the Holland Street neighborhood frequently to see friends, said she believes Bussiere may have some mental health issues but doesn’t believe he’s a bad person. Bussiere spends time keeping the sidewalk in front of his apartment clean, and gets agitated when people don’t respect that effort, Robbins said, which results in frequent confrontations with neighbors.

Robbins said she thinks Bussiere was provoked Wednesday. “It’s not right,” she said. “Because people with mental illness get a bad name and usually it’s not their fault.”

William Hodges, the father of two small children, said he walked to the police department Monday to file a report about Bussiere’s behavior. Hodges was woken up this morning by police who told him he would be evacuated, and that he should gather what he needed to do that. Hodges said neighborhood issues with Bussiere were ongoing. “I don’t let my kids out front because of it,” he said.

Another neighbor, Ryan Green, was standing at a police barricade in his bare feet after being evacuated. He said he didn’t have time to grab any belongings, including shoes.

Earlier in the day Chris Spencer, a passerby, noticed all the small children gathered and around lunch time he donated some Italian sandwiches he had purchased.

Police closed Holland Street near the Rainbow Federal Credit Union, which is on Main Street. Holland Street was closed on that side of Main Street, which is also near the Trinity Catholic School, a private Catholic school. Students remained in the building.

By late Wednesday night, the American Red Cross was working to find the displaced neighbors – including several school-age and younger children – a place to spend the night. They were discussing the possibility of housing the nearly two dozen people at an area school or at the Lewiston Armory.

More details, photographs and video from this incident will be posted here as soon as they become available.

Shots were fired nearly 14 hours into a standoff between a suspect and police at 163 Holland St. The standoff was still not resolved as of 9:15 p.m., more than 16 hours after it began.

At least 20 shots were fired about 6:50 p.m. Wednesday. Some shots apparently were fired by the suspect and some by police. Neighbors hustled their children to safety when that happened.

A police tactical team continued to watch the downtown building, where the man had been holed up since around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

An hour later, a State Police negotiator pleaded with the suspect to surrender. “We’re here to help you,” the negotiator said.
“You can help us by coming out the front door with your hands up.”

According to witnesses at the scene, the man in the apartment is Dan
Bussiere, believed to be in his mid-40s. Police were seen entering the
building around 9:15 a.m., and a police negotiator had been able to
talk with him for about a half-hour before the two were disconnected.
That negotiator was heard just after 11 a.m. pleading with Bussiere to
call back so they could continue talking. 

Around 100 people, mostly neighbors, were near the scene, watching as the standoff entered its 16th hour.

By the time the standoff entered its 17th hour, some people in the neighborhood were arguing with each other, and some fights broke out. One man attempted to storm the building where the man was holed up, but police stopped him.

“We know that you may be
scared,” the negotiator told the suspect around 8 p.m. “Nobody out here wants to hurt you. If you come out we can hear your side
of the story and get you the help you need. You have the power.”

Just after 4 p.m., State Police were still negotiating with the man.

Police had been trying to talk to Bussiere with a loudspeaker and were calling him by the name “Dan.” A State Police tactical vehicle was parked at the front of the building as police negotiated with the suspect. It appeared the police had the first-floor apartment unit, where Bussiere lives, surrounded.

Negotiators were urging Bussiere to pick up a cell phone and talk. “We know it’s been a long night,” a police negotiator was heard saying.

According to Lewiston police, a search warrant was issued in the afternoon for weapons that Bussiere may have in his apartment, including a 30-30 Savage rifle. Although engaging police in a standoff is a civil violation, police do expect to charge Bussiere with criminal threatening. 

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said “we
have opened up a line of communication with the man, and state police
negotiators have been talking to him throughout the morning over the
phone. Our goal is to conclude this in a safe and peaceful manner.” 

As of 10 a.m. a two-block area from College Street to Main had been cordonned off by police. Police also evacuated some people from their homes on a section of Oak Street from Elm Street to Prescott Street.

According to family members, a long-standing domestic dispute has been going on between Bussiere and neighbors. Police were at the location yesterday.

According to Karen Brown, Bussiere confronted her brother, Justin Lord, 21 of 2 Towle Street, at the 7-11 just up the street at 5 a.m. Wednesday when Lord was leaving for work. Bussiere pulled a “six shooter,” pointed it at Lord’s head and cocked the gun, she said. Bussiere then said something to Lord, and ran back to his apartment where he is now holed up.

Lord said he believed the weapon was a black and silver .357 magnum revolver. Lord said he could see hollow-point bullets in the revolver portion of the handgun as it was pointed at him. Lord also gave a statement to Lewiston Police and selected Bussiere from a photo line-up, Lord said.

According to Deborah Brown, Lord’s mother, she had a confrontation with Bussiere several days ago after he called her a profane name. She slapped his face, she said, and he then punched her in the head. Brown said she reported the incident to police, who did go to Bussiere’s apartment to speak with him.

According to neighbors, Bussiere has a history of confrontations with them and police were at Bussiere’s apartment several times Tuesday after various neighbors complained about him acting out.

Tracy Robbins of Livermore, who visits the Holland Street neighborhood frequently to see friends, said she believes Bussiere may have some mental health issues but doesn’t believe he’s a bad person. Bussiere spends time keeping the sidewalk in front of his apartment clean, and gets agitated when people don’t respect that effort, Robbins said, which results in frequent confrontations with neighbors. 

Robbins said she thinks Bussiere was provoked Wednesday. “It’s not right,” she said. “Because people with mental illness get a bad name and usually it’s not their fault.”

William Hodges, the father of two small children, said he walked to the police department Monday to file a report about Bussiere’s behavior. Hodges was woken up this morning by police who told him he would be evacuated, and that he should gather what he needed to do that. Hodges said neighborhood issues with Bussiere were ongoing. “I don’t let my kids out front because of it,” he said.

Another neighbor, Ryan Green, was standing at a police barricade in his bare feet after being evacuated. He said he didn’t have time to grab any belongings, including shoes.

A number of people evacuated from their apartment buildings were gathering at Elm Street, waiting for word they can return home.

Police have closed Holland Street near the Rainbow Federal Credit Union, which is on Main Street. Holland Street was closed on that side of Main Street, which is also near the Trinity Catholic School, a private Catholic school. Students remained in the building.

The neighbors that were evacuated were pooling their resources to purchase fast food for their children as they sat waiting on the side of a building at Towle and Elm streets. Earlier in the day Chris Spencer, a passerby, noticed all the small children gathered and around lunch time he donated some Italian sandwiches he had purchased.

“Some of them have been out here since 6 a.m.” Spencer said. “I did it just for the kids but it looks like it went all the way around and the dog even go some. I just hope they can get back into their homes soon.”

More details, photographs and video from this incident will be posted here as soon as they become available.

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Rebecca Gower hands out books, toys, food and diapers to children who were evacuated from their apartments during the standoff in Lewiston on Wednesday. Gower was not allowed back to her apartment after being evacuated at 8:30 a.m. and finally received donations for her two children as well as neighborhood kids at 4:30 p.m. Clockwise from upper left are: Daniel Tibbetts, 9, Gower, 11-month-old Donavan Hodges, 1 1/2-year-old Devlyn Gross, 3-year-old Maggie Velazquez and 5-year-old Ila Adams.

Police form a barricade at the corner of Prescott and Oak Streets in Lewiston at 10 a.m. on Monday morning.

A police officer directs traffic in front of 163 Holland St., where police say a man has holed himself up with a gun.

Karen Brown watches police move in on 163 Holland St. in Lewiston around 9:15 a.m. from her apartment building across the street. Shortly after, everyone in the building was asked to leave by police as the standoff, which began around 5 a.m., continued.


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