LEWISTON — The man who kept police at bay for about 20 hours before killing himself early Thursday had two other brushes with the law and an arrest warrant for allegedly threatening a neighbor with a handgun Wednesday, according to police.

The standoff, which began at about 5 a.m. Wednesday, ended at around 1 a.m. after the State Police Tactical Team entered the man’s first-floor apartment at 163 Holland St. and found Dan Bussiere, 49, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The decision to enter the apartment ended a day of tension in the Holland Street neighborhood. The street was closed and area residents were evacuated by police as the standoff progressed, prompting a mix of neighborly support and some periodic agitation as the night wore on and families couldn’t return to their homes.

Prior to the entry, the State Police Tactical Team fired several tear gas canisters into the building, McCausland said. He said it was still unknown whether any shots were fired by police. Initial reports show the suspect did not fire any rounds at police.

On Thursday morning, several windows in the building were broken by what appeared to be tear gas canisters. The door to Bussiere’s apartment had been covered with a sheet of plywood.

Bussiere worked as the caretaker of the apartment building where he lived, according to neighbors.

His criminal record shows two assault convictions, one in March of 1996 and another seven months later. He was given a 30-day jail term, all suspended, and placed on six months probation for the first charge. He was given a 60-day jail term, all suspended, and placed on one year of probation for the second.

A warrant was issued for Bussiere’s arrest on Wednesday after Justin Lord, 21, of 2 Towle St. — nearby to Bussiere’s building — told police Bussiere put a gun to his head as Lord was walking to work at around 5 a.m.

According to a police affidavit, Lord said Bussiere “placed the barrel of a silver and black revolver directly onto the bridge of Lord’s nose. Lord said he could look in the cylinders and could see copper tip bullets. Lord said Dan then pulled the hammer back on the revolver and started shaking. Lord went on to say that after two or three minutes Dan put the gun down by his side. Lord said he was scared and decided to make a run for it.”

Lord went back to his home and told his father about the incident, who then contacted police, according to the affidavit. Lord later picked Bussiere out of a photo lineup. An arrest warrant was issued on a charge of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

A search warrant was also issued Wednesday afternoon for weapons that Bussiere may have had in his apartment, including a 30-30 Savage rifle.


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