BRUNSWICK — A fatal confrontation at a family homeless shelter in Brunswick last week resulted in a dozen shots fired between two men, a police investigation revealed.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said Ali Fisher, 40, of Lisbon was armed with a 9mm handgun when he entered the second-story apartment where his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend was staying on Nov. 18.

McCausland said the woman’s current boyfriend, Justin Bruns, 22, of Westbrook, was in the apartment. He had a .38-caliber handgun with him.

The two struggled and both fired their guns. McCausland said Bruns got Fisher’s gun away from him and flung it across the room. Police initially stated that the men had fought for control of a single gun, but corrected that information later in the day.

“There were 12 shots fired between the men in a gunfight inside the apartment,” McCausland said.

Fisher fled the apartment, made it down the stairs and to the sidewalk on Federal Street where he collapsed. He was shot four times, according to McCausland, and died from his injuries.

Bruns was shot in the shoulder. He was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland where he was treated and released.

McCausland said Fisher was familiar with the apartment and had been in a relationship with the woman who lived there up until a month ago.

McCausland said Bruns and the woman, who was not injured, are cooperating with the police.

Police have said they do not anticipate filing any charges.

Fisher and Bruns were not supposed to be at the apartment, according to Tedford Housing, which has operated the family shelter on Federal Street since 1998.

“The two men involved were not guests of the shelter and, unfortunately, both had guns, which are not allowed on Tedford Housing property,” according to a statement issued by Tedford Housing last week.

Tedford Housing Director Craig Phillips said he’s spoken with a domestic violence agency in the aftermath of the shooting.

“With that number of rounds going off, it’s very scary and could have been much worse,” Phillips said Thursday.

There were 23 people staying at the family shelter at the time of the shooting. The apartment where the incident occurred is now vacant, Phillips said.

Staff asks clients staying at the Federal Street family shelter and the adult shelter on Cumberland Street to turn over any weapons they have with them. At the adult shelter, staff randomly search bags and will search the bags of those they suspect may contain a weapon.

In the event a gun is found, police are called to take the weapon, Phillips said. That hasn’t happened in the 10 years the current director has worked at the Cumberland Street shelter.

Bags are not searched at the family shelter, he said. Families staying there are given more independence in an effort to create as much of a home environment as possible, Phillips said.

Mid Coast-Parkview Health and Sweetser, a mental healthcare provider, have provided counseling and support services for Tedford Housing clients and staff since the shooting, Phillips said, and that has been the first task at hand. He expects the nonprofit organization will review policies and procedures to see what it could have done better.

 


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